NFL, union agree to suspend coronavirus protocols

In a memo sent to all 32 teams, the league said the decision was based on CDC guidance, changes to local laws and the advice of experts.

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wears a mask before a game in October.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wears a mask before a game in October.

Harry How/Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed Thursday to suspend all coronavirus protocols indefinitely, effectively ending the steps the league took to try to counteract the virus for the last two years.

In a memo sent to all 32 teams, the NFL said the decision was based on Centers for Disease Control guidance, changes to local laws and the advice of experts. The league said it will work closely with the union and experts ‘‘should there be any reason to reimpose aspects of the protocols’’ in the future.

Unless mandated by local law, teams won’t require players or coaches to wear masks in their facilities. The NFL no longer will monitor the vaccination status of its players or test them at regular intervals. Medical trailers set up in team parking lots for the last two years will be removed. Monitoring devices, which players had to wear while at work, no longer are required. Neither are weight-room restrictions.

Players are required to report coronavirus symptoms to their teams and, if they feel ill, to pass a coronavirus test before returning to work. Teams will be able to test symptomatic players at the discretion of their medical staffs and must keep a room in their facilities with at least 10 testing ports. A player who tests positive for the virus must isolate for five days.

The NFL required all coaches and staff members to be vaccinated last season. Players who decided against getting a vaccine — about 5% of the league — were forced to abide by different rules than their vaccinated teammates.

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