Sources: NFL, union look to trim COVID isolation

  • ESPN.com national NFL writer
  • ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013
  • Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008

The NFL and NFL Players Association are nearing an agreement to set isolation time at five days for all players who test positive for COVID-19, matching new guidance announced Monday by the Centers for Disease Control, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The agreement would include both vaccinated and unvaccinated players and is believed to be contingent on the player being asymptomatic, or at least demonstrating that his symptoms are resolving, after the five-day period.

Under the current protocol, unvaccinated players are required to isolate for 10 days when they test positive. Vaccinated players can return as soon as they test negative, either with two tests taken at the same time, or in combination with a cycle threshold (CT) test reading that indicates they are no longer contagious.

Like the rest of the sports world and the country, the NFL has endured a massive COVID-19 surge over the past few weeks. The NFL and NFLPA have already altered their testing procedures, eliminating weekly testing for vaccinated players and focusing instead on those who have symptoms, but a record 106 players tested positive Monday.

Since Dec. 13, approximately 475 players have tested positive.

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