NFL Changes COVID-19 Protocols to Prevent Combine Boycott – NBC Chicago

Report: New NFL COVID-19 rules to prevent Combine boycott originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The NFL has reportedly made a key change to it’s Combine COVID-19 policy, after several agents banded together with the threat of having over 150 athletes boycott the event. Nearly half of the 324 players invited to the Combine were reportedly set to sit out of the typical drills performed, opting to only undergo medical evaluations, due to strict restrictions.

Last week, NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero published an NFL memo sent to the upcoming draft prospects which said the athletes would be subject to a bubble, similar to what other sports have put in place at various points throughout the pandemic.

“Players will be restricted to secure Combine venues during their entire time in Indianapolis for their protection,” the memo said, via Pelissero. “Players who violate this policy at any time will be disqualified from further participation and sent home.”

Further, the Combine would limit players to bring only one “medical support person,” such as a massage therapist or athletic trainer, rather than a more complete support staff. In addition, whatever staff member an athlete decides to bring along would need to be fully vaccinated.

Now, the NFL is reportedly loosening its restrictions, and will allow athletes to leave those “secure Combine venues” if they choose during their free time in Indianapolis.

The Combine begins on March 1 and runs through March 7.

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