The NFL has updated its gameday protocol to allow every coach and staff member in the bench area to wear masks and reduce the size of each team’s travel party.
Owners must comply with COVID-19 testing requirements to gain access to a locker room, field, or team charter.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the league, the NFL Players Association and medical experts “have developed a comprehensive set of protocols that place us in the best possible position to complete the season, concluding with the Super Bowl at Tampa Bay . ”
There were four newly confirmed positive tests among players and six new confirmed positives among other personnel from 58,621 tests, a total of 8,739 players and team personnel were tested between August 21–29.
“We have been really fortunate that COVID-19 cases are rare in the league,” Goodell said on Tuesday. “It is a testament to the plans, but most importantly to the hard work of the players, teams and their employees. I will tell you that we still have more work to do. We are not going to rest. We will be alert, flexible, flexible and basically adapt to the circumstances as required by public health as our number 1 priority as all number offers. ”
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The chief medical officer of the league, Drs. Alan Sills states that the league is monitoring new developments in testing technology and adapting to new information.
“We have a relentless rival, which is this virus, and we know that there may be new cases that are so diligent with our protocol and our personnel,” he says. “So we have to be very cautious right now and realize that we are still too early, but encouraged by what we have seen so far.”
The league is working with public health officials to determine whether fans will be allowed into stadiums. Some teams will be allowed to start the season with limited fans in the stands.
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“I believe we can have a lot of teams that will start at the beginning of this season with no fans and then develop for the fans,” Goodell said.
Some coaches have resented the inconsistent policy.
Bills coach Sean McDermott called it “ridiculous” and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said it was “unfair” that some teams would have fans and others would not.
“We do not believe this is a competitive advantage,” Goodell said. “We discussed it long ago with our competition committee and our clubs. We do not see that. We obviously have different abilities in the league. And from our point of view, we want to invite our fans if we can do it safely and we can do it with the full support of local authorities. ”
NFL executive Troy Vincent said the league’s competition committee was still finalizing the detail level for artificial crowd noise that would be piped into stadiums.
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