Preseason Games, COVID-19 Protocols Remain Sticking Points in NFL-NFLPA Talks

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By , RADIO.COM

The NFL and NFLPA remain at an impasse in negotiations involving safety and financial issues ahead of trying to play the 2020 season in the midst of a pandemic.

The NFL’s latest proposal, which was sent to the NFLPA Tuesday night, included two preseason games, but the union does not want any games and also called for daily COVID-19 testing and for positive COVID-19 tests to be classified as a non-football injury.

“We still don’t have answers,” an NFLPA source told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

While the amount of preseason games has been a central issue, the “non-football injury” classification for positive COVID-19 tests is a major sticking point in the negotiations, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

By placing a player who tests positive for COVID-19 on the non-football injury list,  the team is not required to pay that player.

Among other issues still to be worked out include compensation for players who choose to opt out of the season for COVID-related reasons, as well as protocols in place for training camp, including stipends guaranteed if camp is shut down after players arrive due to COVID-19 concerns.

There are also concerns that the spike in coronavirus cases in states such Texas, Arizona and California could result in the states being shut down again or harsher restrictions, which would prevent training camps from being held in those states.

Per Pelissero, owners have a call scheduled for Friday in order to try and sort out the next steps as training camp inches closer.

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