Majority of NFL players reportedly want to eliminate COVID-19 protocols, but NFLPA leaders disagree

·3 min read

The majority of NFL players are done with COVID-19 protocols. Players have reportedly expressed that sentiment to the NFLPA, but leaders in the union don't share that opinion, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

That news comes as the NFL grapples with a league-wide COVID-19 outbreak. Over 100 players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Week 15. The Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams and Washington Football team are among the clubs with at least 20 players on that list.

The NFL is reportedly moving games due to the positive tests. The league already altered protocols to allow vaccinated, asymptomatic players to return to action after one negative COVID-19 test, but the growing number of new positive tests around the league led to more drastic actions.

Some players, like Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry, pushed for that result after his team was hit hard by the virus.

NFL players express frustration over league COVID-19 policy

Landry's teammate, quarterback Baker Mayfield, took a different approach, ripping the NFL over its policy. Mayfield claimed Browns players were not tested Thursday morning, allowed to practice and then told they had to take COVID-19 tests. Mayfield argued that approach didn't make sense.

His story was backed up by multiple reports, which suggested either the Browns or the NFL pushed for only symptomatic players to be tested for COVID-19. NFLPA leaders reportedly stepped in and called for all players to be tested, which led to Mayfield's confusion. JC Tretter, the Browns' starting center, is the NFLPA president.

Tretter's position was called into question by multiple players following the postponements, lending credence to the report players are at odds with the NFLPA. Both Quandre Diggs and KJ Wright took swipes at the PA over the postponements.

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Heyward escalated the situation, suggesting Tretter pushed for a postponement because the Browns were at a disadvantage due to their COVID-19 outbreak.

Bruce Arians pushes for more lax protocols

It's not just players who are reportedly pushing the NFLPA for more lax protocols. Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Friday players who are asymptomatic should be allowed to play.

If you have COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, you can still spread the virus, per the World Health Organization.

Socially-distant fans wear masks at NFL game.
NFL players want to do away with COVID-19 protocols. (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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