Some NFL agents are reportedly threatening a boycott of the 2022 NFL combine following news that draft prospects will be in a COVID-19 “bubble,.”
“Agents representing more than 150 draft prospects are organizing a boycott of all testing, on-field workouts and interviews at next month’s NFL scouting combine if heavy “bubble” restrictions aren’t changed, sources tell me and [Tom Pelissero],” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Twitter.
Agents representing more than 150 draft prospects are organizing a boycott of all testing, on-field workouts and interviews at next month’s NFL scouting combine if heavy “bubble” restrictions aren’t changed, sources tell me and @TomPelissero
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 21, 2022
On Saturday, the NFL sent a memo to all draft prospects regarding the rules at the 2022 draft combine.
“The 2022 NFL Combine features key changes designed to improve the overall player experience and protect the players from a health safety standpoint,” the NFL said in the memo. “This includes fewer days on site, reduced testing schedule, new communication platform, scheduled medical examination, customized meal options/timing, single room accommodations and secure environment to reduce distractions and help limit potential COVID exposure.”
One of the key concerns of the agents is that players will not have full access to their personal trainer, nutritionists, and doctors, according to ESPN.
Per the NFL’s memo, players will be “restricted to secure Combine venues” while in Indianapolis, the location of the 2022 NFL Combine. Players who violate the policy will be sent home.
“We have spoken to several agents to reinforce our long standing opposition to the NFL Scouting Combine and agree and support the decisions by those to not attend,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “The combination of the NFL’s proposed ‘bubble’ and fact that we still have an antiquated system of every team doctor examining players and having them perform yet again needs serious modification or elimination. While we do not represent these players we have advocated for their rights to fair treatment.”
“Our union has always encouraged players to take control of their careers from the very beginning and we appreciate that agents are looking at ways to support that goal,” the statement continued.
In their memo to draft prospects, the NFL also reiterated that all individuals with access to players must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Fully vaccinated is defined as both doses of a two-shot vaccine or a single dose of a one-shot vaccine with the final shot being administered more than fourteen (14) days before the event start date, as well as being up to date on any eligible booster,” the NFL said in its memo.
In December, the league released a memo outlining that all Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff members must receive COVID-19 booster shots by December 27 in order to effectively be considered fully vaccinated.
“On November 29, the CDC issued a study showing that the effectiveness of the approved COVID-19 vaccines may decrease over time and has recommended that all eligible vaccinated individuals over the age of 18 should receive a booster shot,” the memo said. “Given the increased prevalence of the virus in our communities, our experts have recommended that we implement the CDC’s recommendation”
“In accordance with the CDC recommendation, all Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff, who have previously been vaccinated and are eligible under CDC guidelines, must receive a booster shot no later than December 27,” the memo added.
Prior to the beginning of the 2021 season, the NFL required that all Tier 1 staff — which includes coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers, and staff — be fully vaccinated unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.
The combine is set to begin on March 1st.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected]
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