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NFL, NFLPA agree to daily COVID-19 testing throughout training camp

If positive cases drop below a certain point, things will change, but it’s an important step.

Bud Light And Marcus Allen Launch NFL Fan Camp Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Bud Lite

As we’ve noted, the NFL and NFLPA are running out of time to hammer out plans for training camp, with the NFL’s lack of concrete plans to this point looming large over the proceedings. For things go to off as scheduled—and teams are due to report to training camp on Tuesday, July 28th—plans will have to come together quickly.

I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but I do know the two sides have hammered out an agreement on at least one important item: Testing.

One of the critical pieces of playing NFL football this season will be fielding enough healthy players, which in turn hinges on robust testing to ensure players who do get COVID-19 are tested and quarantined before they have the chance to spread it to potentially dozens of other players and team staffers.

There appears to be a plan for what happens when a positive test happens, as well:

It’s hard to believe the NFL can handle daily testing for every player when testing has been a relative struggle outside of professional sports, but they do have the money and will to get things done, and if it’s agreed to it must have been deemed feasible. The NFL appears to have heard criticism that it was twiddling its thumbs (or it just hadn’t publicly divulged these plans, take your pick), because this is at least further along than the last week of dithering and angry players would suggest.

The second tweet, which I added a few moments ago, is also critical. Players can’t test negative just once, which means players are likely going to need to be tested ahead of camp if they’re not going to be effectively sequestered for the early part of camp.

We’ll see if the league can clear more hurdles in the next week, but this does feel like an important one for players to feel comfortable showing up to camp. Hopefully there will be more agreements hammered out in the days ahead.