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NFL updates their COVID-19 protocols, including quicker return for vaccinated players

The NFL has tightened restrictions for COVID-19 protocols, while loosening restrictions for returning from the COVID-19 list.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) seen wearing a mask while near the bench during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Titans won 34-31. Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Well, we have another correction. News has been flying around, but it looks like players, no matter when they tested positive, are eligible to return using the new, quicker testing rules. That means we could see some names out there this weekend we weren’t counting on, but that of course remains to be seen.

UPDATE: The new rules for testing out of the COVID-19 protocols will not be retroactive, per Greg Bell. That means that players who have gone onto the list already, will still need the two negative tests 24 hours apart.

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to new COVID-19 protocols. These new rules stem from the current outbreak of COVID-19 across the league and will tighten up mask usage and outside contact on the road, but probably the biggest change is that a vaccinated player who is asymptomatic can return to team activities with two negative tests taken the same day.

With so many players testing positive, but also being asymptomatic, the league has decided that as long as they are vaccinated, they can test out of the protocols with two negative tests, including rapid-result tests, as early as the day after their positive test. Before, they needed two negative tests 24 hours apart. This should give players a much better shot at returning to the field in a more timely manner.

There are many players who this could help allow them to play this weekend, so we should start seeing players returning quicker than they have been as we move forward. And, it could help save your fantasy season too.