By Annie Ross
NFL Players Association president JC Tretter says that daily COVID-19 testing for all players is “the key to a full NFL season.”
The Browns center and the NFLPA have pushed for daily testing for both vaccinated and unvaccinated players (more than 90 percent of the league is vaccinated).
The league now tests vaccinated players once a week, while unvaccinated players are tested daily.
But as the NFL season begins this week, Tretter wrote in a post on the union’s website that daily testing is “a more effective way to stop and prevent the spread of the corona virus in our locker rooms.”
“Since the beginning of training camp, we have been testing our vaccinated players once every 14 days. It has been ineffective as we’ve had significantly more incidents of transmission inside the building this year than last year,” Tretter wrote.
“The NFLPA saw this coming months ago and has been advocating for a return to daily testing because it is more effective way to stop and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our locker rooms. However, the NFL decided to move to weekly testing; and while that is a step in the right direction, it leaves us open to many of the same problems we’ve been facing.
“We have been warned by our experts that, because of our current testing cadence, we are at more risk of missed games this season than last season.”
“Recently, Tennessee finished up with 14 positives — and the team was 97% vaccinated at that time,” Tretter added. “It’s not hard to realize how devastating that would be during a week of the regular season.”
The league said in a memo this summer that teams with a COVID-19 outbreak would be forced to forfeit games if they cannot reschedule during the current 18-week schedule.