The NFL vs. COVID-19


Changes in Policies

After a spike in cases and the rise of the Omicron variant, the NFL, and the NFLPA have changed the league’s COVID-19 policies. One of those changes is, all players and staff must be wearing masks when in the club facility regardless of vaccination status. They felt it was important to re-implement these rules from 2020 due to the rise in cases. 

The new rule is that players and staff who are vaccinated and asymptomatic can continue working or playing as long as they pass certain markers. Those that do show symptoms must quarantine for five to ten days. Players are not required to get booster shots but are encouraged to. Most of the players and staff who tested positive are vaccinated and asymptomatic, so this change in policy was allowed. 


Dr. Allen Sills, the chief medical officer for the NFL spoke out through the rise in cases. He said, “We wanted to go where the science was going, and I will say that that five-day period sort of mirrors the data we have been seeing in our own NFL testing data throughout the year. So, it really wasn’t about player availability or roster numbers. It was, ‘what was the science telling us?’” Dr. Allen said this after three games this season during week 15 that were rescheduled. 

Wins and loses

New Orleans’ roster was destroyed after a COVID-19 outbreak, causing them to lose to Miami. The Saints can still advance if they defeat Atlanta, and San Francisco loses to the Los Angeles Rams. This has been a concern, that certain teams will be at a disadvantage due to the rise of the Omicron variant in certain locations. Coach Sean of the Saints said that “I think players and staff here handled a lot of challenging things not always perfectly, but we have managed to keep our heads above water, keep grinding and keep fighting.”