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NFL, NFLPA Agree To New Protocols For Regular Season

The NFL logo in the middle of Metlife Stadium.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08: A detail of the official National Football League NFL logo is seen painted on the turf as the New York Giants host the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Earlier this year, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to lighten protocols for vaccinated players. With cases rising across the country, the NFL and NFLPA have since reversed course.

The league and union have agreed on increasing testing for vaccinated players from every two weeks to every week. There will also be voluntary second weekly tests, according to NFL insider Tom Pelissero. Masks will also be required for all medical, strength and conditioning coaches and equipment staff when with players inside team facilities.

"The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to regular-season COVID protocols, which include weekly testing for fully vaccinated players and staff -- an increase from every two weeks -- and a voluntary second weekly test, per source," Pelissero reported on Monday. "Players with vulnerable cohabitants may elect to test daily."

Despite the risk, unvaccinated players won't have to wear face coverings at practices or walkthroughs that are conducted outdoors.

You can find the NFL and NFLPA's full agreement below.

The NFL is doing everything it can to ensure the health and safety of its players and coaches. These protocols should help the league work toward that goal.

It wasn't easy, but the NFL managed to weather all the obstacles from the pandemic in 2020 and play all of its games. With many of the players and coaches now vaccinated, the league should be able to successfully navigate another difficult path, though there will be challenges along the way.

The NFL's 2021 regular season begins on Thursday, Sept. 9 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs.