NFL procedures for coronavirus testing are close to being agreed upon, executives from the players association told certified player agents during a Monday conference call.
NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer shared that the current plan is to test all players (and presumably coaches) when they arrive and then three times per week, The Post confirmed. He said there is a “90 percent chance” reliable saliva testing is available before players return to team facilities. A player who tests positive will be quarantined.
Training camps are scheduled to open on or around July 28. With six weeks to prepare, the union expects to progress toward final league-approved protocols in the next 30 days, which would give teams about two weeks to make necessary arrangements.
The call comes on the same day that NFL Network revealed multiple members of the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys, including star running back Ezekiel Elliott, tested positive.
None of the players were in the team facility, but Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott were seen at a party not practicing social distancing in April. The reported number of coronavirus cases is spiking again in Texas, which was one of the first states to reopen from pandemic restrictions.
Some agents listening in to the call came away thinking there still are more uncertainties than concrete answers.
In addition to issuing a long list of social distancing protocols that included locker-room spacing and outdoor or virtual team meetings, the NFL is partnering with Oakley to test modified face masks for increased protection from the virus.
The NFLPA also estimated to agents that playing a season with no fans could cost $3 billion in lost revenue, according to multiple reports.
That would have an impact on the 2021 salary cap and ultimately could lead to discussions of prorated salaries, which is at the heart of the MLB fight between owners and union that could wipe out the 2020 season entirely. Unlike the MLB, the NFL and NFLPA just agreed to a new 11-year collective bargaining agreement.