AP Source: NFL offers players to scrap all preseason games

AP Source: NFL offers players to scrap all preseason games

AP Source: NFL offers players to scrap all preseason games

The NFL has offered to scrap all preseason games, a person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press.

The players’ association had sought no preseason games and the league had reduced the exhibition schedule to two games. But on Monday evening, the NFL said it would eliminate those preseason contests and also would offer players 18 days for acclimation, up from seven days. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the offer has not been made public.

Another part of the offer is to provide a means for players concerned about participating in training camp and/or games to opt out and receive a stipend.

The union has not yet accepted the offers. Should it do so, both sides would have taken a major step toward starting the season on time.

Earlier Monday, the league said players will be tested daily for the coronavirus for at least the first two weeks of training camp, per the league’s new testing protocols.

The NFL and the players’ union reached an agreement as rookies for Houston and Kansas City were set to report to camp. Rookies for other teams begin arriving Tuesday.

Players and all Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2M or Tier 3 individuals must test negative two times separated by 72 hours using a nasal swab before initially entering the building to begin physical exams or any form of team activity.

After two weeks of daily testing, if the positivity rate of those tests falls below 5% among players and Tier I and Tier II individuals, as described previously in NFL protocols, testing would go to every other day. If the positivity rate doesn’t fall below that threshold, daily testing would continue until it drops.

“There’s no finish line with health and safety and I think these protocols are very much living and breathing documents, which means they will change as we gain new knowledge about this virus, as we gain new knowledge about transmission, as we gain new knowledge about testing and there are new tests and new techniques that come online,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL chief medical officer. “We very much anticipate that these protocols will change.”

The NFL has sought input from other leagues that have already returned to action, including leagues outside the country. It’s not known how many positive tests would result in shutting down the football season.

“These are complicated issues which involve a lot of factors,” Sills said. “But suffice it to say we very much look at it from a medical and public health standpoint, and we want to make sure that first and foremost we’re creating the safest possible environment for our players, for our coaches and our staff, but that we’re also operating within the safest environment for each one of our clubs’ locations, which means ongoing and regular communication with the public health authorities in those areas.”

The league and the NFLPA already finalized protocols regarding team travel, media, and treatment response, and updated the facilities protocol to specifically address training camp based on recommendations from a joint committee of doctors, trainers and strength coaches formed by the league and players’ union.

“Our union has been pushing for the strongest testing, tracing and treatment protocols to keep our players safe. The testing protocols we agreed to are one critical factor that will help us return to work safely, and gives us the best chance to play and finish the season,” the union said in a statement Monday.

On Friday, the league sent players and teams an “Education Protocol” for camp which requires clubs to distribute joint educational materials and to conduct educational sessions for players, staff and family members.

“Everything that we’re doing is centred around the concept of risk mitigation,” Sills said. “We know that we can’t eliminate risk, but we’re trying to mitigate it as much as possible for everyone. We know that this is going to be a shared responsibility.”

Sills stressed the importance of responsible behaviour away from team facilities. Unlike the NBA and NHL, the NFL can’t put its clubs in a bubble environment, so players and team personnel will have outside risk.

“What’s good for players and what makes players and their families safer also makes coaches, staff and teams safer and, quite frankly, it makes our communities safer,” Sills said.

The NFL’s testing will run through a national laboratory company. The league spoke with the CDC; the White House task force; a number of public health officials; infectious disease experts and national laboratory medicine leaders to make sure its testing protocol would not have a negative impact on the country’s testing supply or the health care system.

“We’ve received unanimous response across the board that it would not have a negative impact,” Sills said. “That’s a very important point to us, we take that responsibility very seriously. We’ve also discussed that at length with our testing vendor to make sure we are not having a negative impact on any of their business.”

___

AP Pro Football Writer Simmi Buttar contributed to this report.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Rob Maaddi And Barry Wilner, The Associated Press

Football

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

File photo
Norris Beach Road Tender Approved

County of Wetaskiwin Council awarded the tender for Range Road 11 to Crow Enterprises Ltd.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

Government of Alberta COVID-19 Aggregate Data Map. Screen Grab/ https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#geospatial
City of Wetaskiwin under 10 active cases; single active case in County

Active COVID-19 cases in the City and County of Wetaskiwin continue to drop.

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

A locally-produced video project aims to preserve Canada’s railway history

‘Railways have been an integral part of Canadian history since 1836’

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victim’s case proceeds

Reaction to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council last month

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Most Read