The NFL and NFLPA had met recently to address the uptick with COVID-19 positive test results, and the increased risk of breakthrough cases. That meeting resulted in a change to the frequency of COVID-19 testing and their decisions will impact the LA Rams as well as 31 other NFL teams.
With the introduction of several vaccinations intended to enhance the body’s immunity to ward off the infectious coronavirus, several of the more stringent health and safety protocols were relaxed this season as the NFL and NFLPA sought to return to a more traditional NFL offseason schedule and protocols.
However, the growing risks to the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike of the new Delta-variant have forced the relaxation of protocols back to the drawing board. Many local governments, and the NFL stadiums that fall under their jurisdiction, have reinstated a protective facemask mandate for fans who plan to attend NFL games for the 2021 NFL season. The LA Rams, whose games are played at the newly constructed SoFi Stadium, will be required to enforce a mandatory facemask mandate this year.
Other stipulations provide concluding testing 3 days before a game so that a vaccinated player can test out in time to play in the upcoming game. For teams playing Thursday Night Football games, testing will be conducted on the entire roster on Monday. If a team undergoes a cluster of positive results from COVID-19 testing (no clarity as to what constitutes a cluster), the following additional protocols will immediately go into effect:
Daily testing for all players or staff until there are no more positive tests
All players and staff will be required to wear masks indoors
All meals provided at the facility will be “grab and go” only
Any other stipulations agreed to by the NFL/NFLPA as reasonably directed by the Infectious Disease Expert
The NFL and NFLPA continue to flex their medical and safety protocols to ensure the safety and health of players and staff members based upon the best available information.
These rules will remain in place until the risks of breakthrough infections have abated, or until such time as more stringent precautions and protocols are deemed necessary.