NFL Agrees With Players on Virus Testing for Training Camps

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National Football League athletes will be tested daily for new coronavirus infection for the first two weeks of training camp under an agreement with the players union, which had raised concern that safety measures were incomplete for practices set to begin July 28.

“It is expected that players will need more than one negative test before first being allowed to enter team facilities,” the professional football league said on its website Monday, citing Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer. The league also offered to eliminate preseason games in response to player requests.

The NFL is among the professional sports pushing to restart with pandemic safety precautions amid renewed outbreaks. Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals plan to have infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci throw the ceremonial opening-day pitch July 23. In June, Fauci said “it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall.”

The National Football League Players Association has said 72 players had tested positive for the virus as of July 10, highlighting risks for athletes as the league pushes forward with plans to play games this year. On Sunday, some players took to Twitter to voice their concerns about the league’s decision to start training camps before an agreement was reached on safety details.

Athletes are expected to train for weeks before putting on pads for regular practice, the leagues said Monday on its website.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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