COVID-19 Latest: Testing, Lynn, Draft, Fans

The NFL will extend its daily COVID-19 testing period through Sept. 5, the NFLPA announced. This comes after the league declared the positive test rate of Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals to be lower than 1%. The league and the union’s original daily testing agreement ran through August 19. When the parties agreed on that time window, the agreement was they would move to every-other-day testing if the positive rate ended up below 5% in that period. But the sides made a preemptive move to err on the side of caution.

New protocols will also include players who test positive undergoing an EKG, blood tests for heart function and an echocardiogram, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). Heart complications are now being associated with COVID-19. Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez encountered a heart issue after he contracted the virus, and part of the reasoning behind the Big Ten postponing its season stemmed from at least 10 conference players battling myocarditis — a rare condition featuring inflammation of the heart muscle — according to The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach (subscription required).

Here is the latest on the league’s battle with the coronavirus:

  • Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn revealed during the first episode of Hard Knocks he contracted COVID-19 earlier in the offseason. The fourth-year Bolts HC experienced symptoms. He is the third head coach known to have contracted the virus, following Sean Payton and Doug Pederson.
  • The Big Ten and Pac-12 attempting to play spring football may now prompt the NFL to change its mind regarding the draft. The NFL “would have to” consider moving off its late-April draft date if colleges play their seasons in the spring, Maske tweets. Last month, the NFL’s stance was firm on keeping the draft in April. But with conferences taking last-resort measures of postponing seasons indefinitely, the league appears to be understandably changing its tune. No NFL draft has occurred before a college season’s conclusion since the 1960s.
  • Add Washington to the list of teams who will play home games without fans this season. The franchise announced the decision Wednesday. Washington, however, added that this policy would be subject to change if the conditions surrounding the pandemic improve over the course of the season. Washington joins the Giants, Jets and Raiders as teams to announce their home games will not involve spectators.
  • Other teams have not given up on having fans at games. The Chiefs, Cowboys and Patriots are among teams working on a pod system, which has gained the most traction among potential solutions, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com tweets. The goal of this unusual setup would be to place clusters of masked fans together at different sections of stadiums, Robinson adds (on Twitter). Considering the social distancing component in COVID-19 safety recommendations, this would be an interesting setup. But a month away from the season, most teams’ attendance plans still appear fluid.
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15 comments on “COVID-19 Latest: Testing, Lynn, Draft, Fans

  1. markdavisbarber

    The NFL will not have to move the draft date. They already proved they can hold the draft remote and without player participation.

    The NFL will more then likely have to change how the combine is conducted or if it occurs at all. Guess scouts and GM’s will become of more importance as the year progresses.

    • wagner13

      What if a team drafts a player and then they get hurt during the upcoming college season? That wouldn’t be fair. For instance, if someone suffered a career-ending spinal malady, that would cost teams a free prospect

    • afsooner02

      No player drafted would keep playing college football for “free” once they’re drafted. That would be stupid. So yes…the nfl draft is going to have to move or a bunch of players will sit out once they’re drafted.

      • wagner13

        That too. I think the NFL’s just waiting to see if there’s actually going to be a Spring season before biting the bullet and moving the draft

      • DarkSide830

        so? municipalities are fine with it and so are the people that are going in, and there havent been any issues with this system yet. and its not like the stands are full. as long as you space fans out, make them wear masks, and limit time in areas with less air circulation its hardly more dangerous then going anywhere more dangerous. air flow is key and at the very least any stadium without a fixed dome should be able to have some quantity of fans in a more then just “relative” level of safety.

  2. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    “The goal of this unusual setup would be to place clusters of masked fans together at different sections of stadiums, Robinson adds (on Twitter). Considering the social distancing component in COVID-19 safety recommendations, this would be an interesting setup.”

    What part of “clusters” and “social distancing” seem compatible to them?

    I get it’s new and we are still learning, etc. but generally some of the “solutions” to this virus are just brain dead. Ex.- Stores that have two doors closing one and forcing everyone into the same space for no apparent reason when using both would cut this exposure in half.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      Here, at least, stores are on an occupancy limit. Far easier to keep track of how many customers are in the store when there’s only one entrance to monitor.

      • forwhomjoshbelltolls

        A fine example. A good intent on paper that fails in reality.

        The point of enforcing occupancy limits is to prevent the possibility of having too many people in one space.

        But, in order to combat this possibility, they create the certainty that too many people will be clustered too closely, waiting in lines like the backup at a tunnel.

        • DarkSide830

          that’s only true if you have some huge queue to get into a place. normally you don’t need to pack in like a stardine just to get into a single entrance. the principle is people might be a bit more together for the short time of entering or exiting, but they’re inside proper for much longer, when you are more likely to get it. increased time with exposure increases infection rate. its not like you brush past someone and are then instantly infected.

          • forwhomjoshbelltolls

            I have yet to be in a store that was even close to crowded.

            Virtually all of my non-CDC approved contact in recent months has been the result of standing in lines.

            And to your last point, even in an overcrowded store, you brush past people. Standing in line where it goes from 6 feet to 6 inches and the guy behind you breathing on your neck for a minute while you wait for the bottleneck to clear is worse. Well intended, but worse.

    • lmao I think about that every time I go somewhere with two doors and only one open. Bottlenecking people would seem to be counterproductive, but I’m sure there’s some hare-brained logic behind it.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    The Jets and Giants should rent some cardboard fans from the Mets. They are extremely well behaved and not likely to ask for a refund.

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