COVID-19 is still a hot-button issue around the United States, but the dynamics around it have shifted.
The NFL is adjusting as well, introducing an updated policy in 2022 for the pandemic that shut down the country in 2020.
The biggest difference is the league will no longer require surveillance testing of unvaccinated players, which is a departure from the procedures in 2021. COVID-19 policies have also been changed.
While some players have missed time in training camp after testing positive, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is the first high-profile player ruled out of a preseason game due to COVID, as the team said he will miss Minnesota’s opener against the Raiders on Sunday.
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What is the NFL’s COVID policy for 2022?
The NFL and the NFLPA dropped their joint protocols for the 2022 season back in March, meaning mandatory testing for unvaccinated players is no longer in progress.
Unvaccinated players are also no longer required to wear masks at team facilities.
Players, however, must self-report symptoms and show a negative test before entering team facilities. If they test positive, however, they must self-isolate for five days.
The NFL is, however, superseded by state and local law if more stringent government measures are in place.
How is this different from the policy in 2021?
The biggest difference between 2021 and 2022 policies is that last season, unvaccinated players operated under a different set of rules.
Unvaccinated players had to be masked in team facilities and had surveillance testing conducted upon them.
In 2022, that is no longer the case.
Players are still accountable for themselves and their symptoms this season. Cousins missed a pivotal game last January against the Packers after testing positive at the end of December.