One of the hangups between the league and the players association was the number of preseason games teams would need to play in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The NFL originally wanted two while the NFLPA wanted none, with the league coming down to an offer of one game as of earlier today.
But things have apparently changed.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the NFL has offered the NFLPA to play zero preseason games this offseason.
Once the new offer is accepted, which at this point seems like a formality, the first time we’ll see NFL teams suit up in 2020 will be week one of the regular season.
But those plans could change as well.
The league also approved some coronavirus testing guidelines today.
NFL players will be tested every day for the first two weeks of training camp, Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer, said in a conference call, and it is expected that players will need more than one negative test before first being allowed to enter team facilities.
At the two-week mark, the rate of positive tests for those tested — players, coaches and staff who are in close contact with the football team — will be examined and if the rate of positive tests is below five percent, testing will move to every other day.
Several NFL players, including the Chicago Bears’ Khalil Mack, were active on social media yesterday expressing their concerns about the NFL having health and safety measures in place for the opening of training camps.
“Our union has been pushing for the strongest testing, tracing and treatment protocols to keep our players safe,” the NFLPA statement on COVID-19 testing procedures read. “The testing protocols we agreed to are one critical factor that will help us return to work safely and gives us the best chance to play and finish the season.”
With no preseason games the likelihood that fringe roster hopefuls and undrafted free agents will be able to shine is negated, so expanding rosters or relaxing the practice squad rules could be on the horizon.
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