It’s finally over.
After two years of hearing about “team outbreaks,” safety protocol and mandate changes, and narratives about how unvaccinated players were existential threats to their teams and society, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to suspend all COVID-19 safety measures effective immediately.
Despite the fact that no teams are currently hosting any activities, the memo’s changes do mean that all COVID safety measures at the NFL combine will no longer be enforced. This was a point of contention for the agents that represented nearly half of the prospects invited to the combine. This also means that reporters will likely gain locker room access again once the season begins.
From NFL Now: The NFL and NFLPA suspended all COVID protocols... hopefully forever. pic.twitter.com/538KX2TIDE— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 3, 2022
But the victory might be short-lived. Should the NFL experience more COVID problems once the season begins, then we might see the restrictive mandates pop up again. Organizations are still advised to follow state and local protocols despite the league’s mandates being lifted.
"Should there be a reason to reimpose aspects of the protocols or to take other measures," the memo notes, "we will work closely with clubs, the NFLPA and our respective experts, and local, state and federal public health officials to continue to safeguard the health of the NFL community."
Hopefully, we have just heard the death bell of the NFL's love affair with COVID safety and useless protocols. But then again, they do have a knack of being consistently inconsistent in how they handle … pretty much any major issue they face.