NFL sends memo to remaining playoff teams regarding updated COVID testing cadence

In preparation for this weekend’s Divisional Round matchups, the NFL issued a statement to the eight remaining postseason teams regarding the updated cadence for COVID-19 testing.

Friday’s memo, obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, informed clubs that neither vaccinated nor unvaccinated players will be subject to daily testing going forward.

According to Pelissero, the NFLPA-approved change was made based on information gathered over the past month on the Omicron variant. NFL and NFLPA medical experts have seen a decrease in positive cases over this period, an encouraging sign for the league as a whole following decisions to implement targeted testing and revise the window for players are returning from COVID protocol late last year.

All players and multi-tier staff will now be subject to enhanced symptom screening, symptom-based testing and targeted surveillance testing, by Pelissero.

Pelissero also noted that people on a 90-day testing “vacation” after having had COVID are still subject to testing if they have symptoms, regardless of their vaccination status. So, although positive tests are close to zero at the moment, it is still possible for a player to miss a playoff game if they are sick.

Of all the unvaccinated players still on playoff teams, only about a dozen haven’t yet contracted COVID, Pelissero reported, according to a source familiar with the matter.

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