Only weeks left before the postseason kicks off, the NFL has dropped a massive regulation on the teams- none of then will be allowed to have their own local bubbles during the postseason.
Amid the pandemic, the NFL has been top-notch in adhering to a strict COVID-19 protocol for all teams during the regular season and as the postseason approaches, the league issues a new mandate for the teams.
The decision comes after the joint agreement of the NFL and NFLPA medical experts to omit any league-wide or team-issued bubble after analysing the COVID-19 data in the league, on the heels of the most recent week showing a .09% player and .11% personnel positivity rate.
NFL Teams not required to keep players in hotels, except for the night before matches
As per the new guideline, all players, coaches and staffs are not required to remain in the team hotels during the postseason, except for the night before any match.
“This decision is based upon an analysis of the frequency of positive cases in the league compared to the risk of significant spread among players and staff gathered for an extensive period of time at one hotel,” the NFL memo, obtained by The Associated Press, read.
Furthermore, a mandatory tracking device will be issued to all players, coaches and staffs, to be worn at all times until they head back to their hotel rooms the night before a game.
However, teams may pay any player who opts to move into the hotel room during the postseason as to isolate from family or team members.
In addition to the above, the league gave another reminder that the strict prohibition of any public gathering, which now includes aversion of any assembly at team hotels. Moreover, masks and social distancing stays mandatory at all time as usual.
The NFL and NFLPA also decided to add one more test to their COVID-19 testing regime, as well as extending the time for any asymptomatic positive personnel to return to the contingent to 10 days.
NFL commissioner hints crowd presence for the Super Bowl
Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has expressed positivity regarding the allowance of crowd for the Super Bowl on February 7, although the number of fans to be allowed in the stadium is still uncertain.
“We’re going to try to bring as many fans as we can safely do into Raymond James Stadium, but we’ll be working with the local officials on that,” Goodell said on Monday.
“I’m not sure there’s a specific number that we are confident saying this is what it will be. But obviously our focus will be keeping them safe, whoever is there. … We will not make projections about what the current environment will be 55 days from now,” the league commissioner added.