The NFLPA had officially approved all 32 teams’ Infectious Disease Emergency Response (IDER) plans, which will enable every organization to open up training camps and make the first step in trying to play a full season with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing.
The plans specifically outline how every team will respond when/if they are faced with a COVID-19 outbreak. It’s a step that’s become even more important for the NFL in the wake of 15 players and two coaches from the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball testing positive for the virus after only the opening weekend of the MLB season.
For the NFL, which like MLB, is operating outside of the bubble format, which the NBA and NHL have used in restarting their seasons, it’s imperative that the league and all teams have concrete plans for dealing with any kind of outbreak. Combined with the already announced Reserve/COVID-19 list for players that have tested positive or been around people who tested positive, it seems the league is doing whatever it can to avoid a situation like what happened in Miami.
It would likely be even worse considering the contact nature of the sport and how many people are involved with each team. That’s why even though the NFL and NFLPA have approved these measures now, they will require organizations to submit details regarding gameday protocols and travel information to the NFLPA. They will then have to review and approve those plans before week 1 in September.
As of now, none of the plans that have been submitted have been approved. Time remains for teams to develop effective protocols, although the sooner, the better because week one is ever fast approaching.
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