Asymptomatic NFL players could return after just 1 day
The NFL and NFL Players Association announced some changes to the league’s COVID-19 policy on Thursday, and one of them clears a path for certain players who test positive to return sooner.
Previously, vaccinated players and staff who tested positive for COVID-19 had to return two negative tests 24 hours apart in order to be cleared to return. Under the new protocols, vaccinated players and staff who are not experiencing symptoms will potentially be able to return the day after their positive test. They’ll only need to test negative once rather than twice.
The key is the individual must be asymptomatic, as a majority of the players who tested positive the past few days have been. Return is possible as soon as the day after the initial positive test.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 16, 2021
COVID cases have increased across the NFL this week. But as Pelissero notes, the majority of players who have tested positive are not experiencing any symptoms.
The Cleveland Browns have had Baker Mayfield and several other offensive starters test positive. Head coach Kevin Stefanski also produced a positive test, though both he and Mayfield have said they are not experiencing symptoms. The new protocol change will at least give players and coaches who are not ill a chance to return to practice and games sooner.
Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports