Fully vaccinated NFL players and other staffers will no longer face daily COVID-19 tests, one in a series of modified protocols the league and the NFL Players Association agreed to Friday.
The NFL isn't requiring vaccination for any employees but has pledged to offer incentives for doing so. In a memo outlining the changes, commissioner Roger Goodell said that testing will be reduced to once per week for those who are 14 days past their final vaccination shot. Players also will avoid lengthy entry testing after traveling to team facilities and won't be required to quarantine if they are deemed a high-risk close contact to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 infection.
"There is no question that being vaccinated is the single most important step that anyone can take to be protected -- and to protect others -- from the virus," wrote Goodell, whom the NFL revealed Friday has been vaccinated himself.
All 32 teams are participating in a vaccination education program in conjunction with the NFLPA. The league has partnered with a pharmacy to provide vaccination clinics for players, team employees and their families.
"Players and eligible family members are encouraged to attend and participate in education sessions and receive the vaccine, even if the player is not currently participating in his club's voluntary offseason workout program," Goodell wrote.
In the meantime, however, vaccinated NFL employees must continue to wear masks and wear contact tracing devices when at team facilities. Those requirements could be relaxed later this summer.