As the NFL prepares for its 2020 season amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, many players and coaches are concerned about their safety during training camp and the preseason. To address some of those concerns, the NFL is reportedly preparing a massive program for COVID-19 testing.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing teams around the league to be very nervous about the 2020 season just a few weeks before players are due to report for training camp. While the NFL is still working on its testing protocols, one part of the league’s guidelines would lead to the NFL going through an extraordinary amount of tests.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL will test players and their family members for the coronavirus. The league’s goal would be to ensure that their athletes and any persons living with the player don’t have the virus, creating a safe environment at the team facility and at home.
The NFL and NFLPA are still finalizing testing protocols, but the expectation is players’ families — and anyone else players are cohabitating with — will be part of initial COVID-19 screening. All part of ecosystem they’ll rely on to make football work. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/tJUv9Whwr8— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 6, 2020
The NFL’s system would see the use of two COVID-19 tests. First, a nasal swab test to determine if the person has the virus. Second, a test for antibodies that uses the fingertip. The league reportedly wants to get results after approximately 24 hours, a lofty goal given the number of samples that would need to be tested.
Even before players report for training camp, the NFL has seen a small outbreak of the coronavirus among its personnel. In June, it was estimated that a third of NFL teams had at least one player test positive for COVID-19.