Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL’s COVID-19 protocols are understood to be flexible, as professional sports continue to maneuver through the pandemic as best they can. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced they had shortened the recommended time for isolation for those infected with the coronavirus from 10 days to five days if asymptomatic, followed by five more days of wearing a mask around others. This change prompted the world of sports to adjust as well.
Monday evening, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the NFL and NFLPA are in discussions to change their COVID-19 protocols to reflect the CDC recommendations, and that these changes are imminent. As of now, unvaccinated players who test positive for the coronavirus are forced to spend 10 days away from team facilities. It’s unknown if the NFL will change that timeframe from 10 to five days, but it sounds like it will be shortened.
Just this month, the NFL adjusted their protocols so that vaccinated players could return as soon as the day after their registered positive test. According to those new protocols, vaccinated players who test positive for the coronavirus can now return to the field if they register two PCR tests that are either negative or have a CT (cycle threshold) of 35 or greater. Or, one PCR test that is either negative or has a CT value of 35 or greater, and negative Mesa test taken with 24 hours of the PCR test. Players can also return to the field if they register two negative Mesa tests.