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 its Combine COVID-19 policy after several agents joined forces with the threat of getting over 150 athletes to boycott the event. Nearly half of the 324 players invited to Combine were reportedly set to sit out of the typical exercises performed and chose to undergo medical evaluations only due to strict restrictions.
Last week, the NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero released an NFL memo sent to the forthcoming draft prospectus, which said athletes would be exposed to a bubble similar to what other sports have introduced at various points through the pandemic.
“Players will be limited to securing Combine venues throughout their 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.”
Furthermore, 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, the employee that an athlete decides to bring must be fully vaccinated.
Now the NFL is reportedly about to loosen its restrictions and will allow athletes to leave these “safe Combine spots” if they choose in their spare time in Indianapolis.
The combination begins on March 1 and runs until March 7.