As NFL players have been more than eager to point out, there’s a whole lot that has not been ironed out between the league and the players as far as COVID-19 protocols. Let Houston Texans star JJ Watt explain what’s going on.
In the interest of having everyone on the same page in terms of what we know and don’t know at this time, here are a few things I’ve learned being on four NFLPA calls in the last two weeks with hundreds of other players.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 16, 2020
Keep in mind our rookies are scheduled to report in 48 hrs pic.twitter.com/wAH1XyQenf
But other than that, everything is fine.
We do have a minor update on what the procedure will be should we have a season and a player tests positive for COVID-19. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the details, which have not yet been finalized.
Per a league source, the league intends to change the injured reserve rules to create a COVID-19 classification. Players who test positive will be placed on the COVID-19 list for three weeks, creating a roster spot that would then be filled with a player who is negative for the virus.
The players on the COVID-19 list would be paid their normal salaries.
It’s unclear what will happen if a player on the COVID-19 list can’t return after three weeks, at which time he will be eligible to return to practice. He must be returned to the active roster within three weeks after that, or he will revert to IR (absent an injury settlement).
The goal will be to keep the roster strong and to avoid shutting players down for the full season. The broader objective will be to keep the league from collapsing if teams suffer outbreaks that shut them down.
Additionally, the NFLPA says 72 players have tested positive for the coronavirus. Not all 72 have been identified, but notable ones include Ezekiel Elliott and Von Miller, and this number may yet swell when you consider that not every player currently on an NFL roster has even been tested yet.
Training camp starts in two weeks and states like California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas are the biggest hotspots in the country for new COVID cases. They make up 9 of the 32 teams in the league, and Florida is the site of this season’s Super Bowl.
So many unanswered questions with the season supposedly starting in just about two months.