Report: NFLPA Wants Daily COVID Testing If in-Person Workouts Are Approved

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2021

Commissioner Roger Goodell adjusts his mask before the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The NFLPA has requested daily COVID-19 testing if in-person offseason workouts are to resume in 2021.

Kevin Seifert of ESPN reported the NFL and union are in negotiations regarding how to handle the league's offseason program. Players are in favor of conducting virtual workouts similar to how the 2020 offseason was handled, whereas ownership is pushing for in-person workouts.

NFL owners have pushed back on the need for daily testing at this point as well.

NFLPA president JC Tretter has called on virtual offseason workouts being made permanent. In the past, teams have conducted in-person, contact drills during the offseason, which place players in significantly higher danger of being injured.

In December, Tretter wrote on the NFLPA website:

"The argument in favor of these offseason practices is based on the assumption that players need reps during OTAs to develop and learn while teams need the practices to gel. Yet, the lack of OTAs this year demonstrated that those theories aren't substantiated. New and first-year head coaches had success. Newly assembled teams had success. Rookies stepped in and played at a high level all across the league.

"We do not need to be brought in during April-June to practice against each other—it's simply unnecessary."

There was no noticeable difference in quality of play from the 2019 to 2020 seasons despite offseason workouts being conducted virtually. The elimination of the preseason also helped players in getting ready for the regular season.

Ownership is expected to expand the regular season to 17 games for the 2021 season, which would reopen bargaining with how to handle the offseason workout program.