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In just a few short days, the NFL will know the four remaining teams that have a shot at Super Bowl LVI. With the divisional round this weekend, the league has reportedly again decided to adjust its COVID-19 protocols. Last month, the league shortened the quarantine period for all players regardless of vaccination status, and this week, the NFL is taking it a step further.
According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL sent a memo to the eight teams still alive in the playoffs with updated COVID-19 testing protocols. Per Pelissero, the NFL has eliminated the distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated players, which means those who are unvaccinated will no longer be subject to daily testing.
While there is no longer daily testing, all players and tiered staff will be subject to: Enhanced symptom screening, symptom-based testing and targeted surveillance testing. According to Pelissero, those with the NFL and NFLPA are seeing the Omicron variant wave receding, and that the new targeted testing is working with the shortened quarantine. Pelissero reports that of all the unvaccinated players on playoff teams still playing, only about a dozen haven’t had the coronavirus yet.
It appears the NFL is close to once again pulling off a safe and successful season, but not everyone is out of the woods yet. While this update means that we could see even fewer negative tests, a player still could test positive late in the week and miss a game.