Owners must also follow COVID-19 testing requirements to access locker rooms, fields, or team charters.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league, NFL Players Association, and medical experts “developed a comprehensive set of protocols that put us in the best position to complete the season, culminating in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl.”
In 58,621 tests conducted on a total of 8,739 players and team members from August 21 to 29, there were 4 new positive tests among players and 6 new positive tests among other personnel.
Goodell said on Tuesday, “We were very glad that COVID-19 cases were very low across the league. “This is proof of the plan, but most importantly, it is proof of the hard work of our players, teams and staff. I want to tell you that there is still more work to be done. We won’t be comfortable. We will put public health as our top priority this offseason and will be vigilant, resilient, flexible, and basically adapt to the situation as needed.”
Dr. Allen Sills, the League’s Chief Medical Officer, says the League is monitoring new advances in testing technology and is constantly adapting to new information.
“We have constant opposition to this virus, and we know that no matter how diligently all of our protocols and staff are handled, new cases can arise,” Sills said. “So we have to be very vigilant and realize that we are still in the early stages, but we are encouraged by what we have seen so far.”
The league is working with public health authorities to determine whether fans can enter the arena. Some teams may start the season with limited fans.
Goodell said, “I think there are a lot of teams that start without fans at the beginning of this season and evolve into fans.”
Some coaches have complained about the inconsistent policy.
Bills manager Sean McDermott said this was “stupid,” and Vikings manager Mike Zimmer said it was “unfair” that some teams had fans and others would not.
“We don’t think this is a competitive advantage,” Goodell said. “We talked very early with the competition committee and club. We don’t see it. We certainly have a variety of abilities across the league. And from our point of view, if we can do it safely and with the full support of local officials, we want to invite our fans.”
The NFL’s Troy Vincent official said the league’s competition committee is still finalizing the details of the decibel level of artificial crowd noise that will be delivered to the stadium.
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