NFL Will Stop Testing Vaccinated Players Who Are Asymptomatic

By Bill Galluccio

December 18, 2021

Houston Texans v Cleveland Browns
Photo: Getty Images

The National Football League is making changes to its COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The NFL sent a memo to teams telling, detailing the changes, which include the end of mandatory testing for vaccinated players who are asymptomatic.

Unvaccinated players will still have to undergo daily testing.

The memo, which was shared on Twitter by NFL reporter Tom Pelissero, said that the league will evaluate the enhanced protocols put in place last week on a team-by-team basis.

The new protocols come after the NFL was forced to reschedule multiple games over the weekend due to a high number of positive COVID tests. While over 150 players tested positive, the NFL said that roughly two-thirds of those players were asymptomatic.

“​The NFL and NFLPA have been engaged with our medical advisors to address the emergence of the new Omicron variant and how to stop the spread to ensure we keep everyone safe and complete the remainder of the season responsibly,” the NFL said in a joint statement with the NFL Players Association. “The intensive protocols implemented last week and the rescheduling of three games were designed to stop the transmission of the virus and play this week’s games safely. After this weekend’s games, we have agreed to put into place a new set of protocols, which will include a more targeted testing plan, more flexibility for players to attend meetings virtually, and also a high-risk player opt-out for the remainder of the season.”

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