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Sport: Union urges NFL to adopt daily COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players

Opinion: Bill Belichick irresponsible to mislead about efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines

  Opinion: Bill Belichick irresponsible to mislead about efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines Bill Belichick pushed back when asked whether Cam Newton being unvaccinated played a role in the Patriots' decision to release the quarterback.In this case, it was downright dangerous.

There’s a decent chance that the COVID-19 pandemic will play more of a role during the 2021 NFL season than last year.

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We’re seeing relaxed protocols from the league as it relates to fully vaccinated players with Week 1 of the campaign slated to get going Thursday evening.

It has already led to some COVID-related issues for teams. That includes star guard Zack Martin and the Dallas Cowboys with their opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers mere days away. Despite being fully vaccinated, Martin tested positive for the virus and will miss the game.

NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns touched on this recently. He’s now urging the NFL to go to daily testing for vaccinated players.

Red Sox place right-hander Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 IL as outbreak worsens

  Red Sox place right-hander Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 IL as outbreak worsens The Red Sox now have a combination of 12 players and coaches sidelined due to the coronavirus. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts; utility man Enrique Hernandez; second baseman Christian Arroyo; infielder Yairo Munoz; and pitchers Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura and Martin Perez tested positive for COVID-19, while left-hander Josh Taylor and first-base coach Tom Goodwin are in quarantine as close contacts. Quality control coach Ramon Vazquez has also tested positive for the virus.

“Since the beginning of training camp, we have been testing our vaccinated players once every 14 days. It has been ineffective as we’ve had significantly more incidents of transmission inside the building this year than last year,” Tretter wrote in an op-ed on the union’s official website. “The NFLPA saw this coming months ago and has been advocating for a return to daily testing because it is more effective way to stop and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our locker rooms. However, the NFL decided to move to weekly testing; and while that is a step in the right direction, it leaves us open to many of the same problems we’ve been facing.”

Tretter also pointed to an outbreak within the Tennessee Titans’ organization as a recent case study to prove his point.

Florida doctor to refuse in-person treatment for unvaccinated patients

  Florida doctor to refuse in-person treatment for unvaccinated patients A primary care doctor in Florida sent a letter to patients informing them that she will not allow anyone unvaccinated to be treated in person.Linda Marraccini, a family medicine doctor in South Miami, sent a letter to patients informing them that because the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration, unvaccinated individuals will no longer be allowed to attend in-person appointments at her practice.

“Recently, Tennessee finished up with 14 positives — and the team was 97% vaccinated at that time,” Tretter explains. “It’s not hard to realize how devastating that would be during a week of the regular season. Yet, incidents like this have flown under the radar because players missing training camp practices or preseason games isn’t big news. That will not be the case moving forward and a few teams are already without, or at risk of being without, key starters heading into this opening weekend.”

There’s a lot of different layers to this. The NFL has been pushing for players to get vaccinated. To an extent, it has worked. North of 90% of players around the league have gotten their shots. The issue here is breakthrough cases among the vaccinated.

Breakthrough COVID-19 cases and the NFL

It was just recently that the league changed its protocols for vaccinated players to get tested weekly rather than every 14 days. The primary reason for this has been the uptick in breakthrough cases around the league.

Bulgaria, EU's least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge

  Bulgaria, EU's least vaccinated nation, faces deadly surge VELIKO TARNOVO, Bulgaria (AP) — Standing outside the rundown public hospital in Bulgaria's northern town of Veliko Tarnovo.VELIKO TARNOVO, Bulgaria (AP) — Standing outside the rundown public hospital in Bulgaria's northern town of Veliko Tarnovo, the vaccination unit's chief nurse voices a sad reality about her fellow citizens: “They don’t believe in vaccines.

By switching to a daily testing schedule, like we’re seeing with unvaccinated players, the league could prevent an outbreak during the season. On the other hand, daily testing would obviously lead to more players missing action. Just imagine if someone like Tom Brady tested positive immediately ahead of Thursday’s season opener against the Cowboys. It would be one heck of a way to start the season. That’s especially true if it’s a false-positive.

Looking at it through a broader lens, we already know that COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% foolproof. The idea is to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death. That has been the case since the vaccine became readily available earlier in the year.

From the NFL’s perspective, they have made it clear getting vaccinated will help the season go on as planned. They have also indicated that teams will have to forfeit games if there’s a major outbreak among the non-vaccinated within their locker rooms. But what happens if there’s an outbreak of breakthrough cases?

This is the issue the league is facing immediately ahead of what promises to be a challenging 2021 NFL season.

Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19

  Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19 Greinke has slowly been working his way back to the mound and will start Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.Greinke provided an update Saturday, saying he, his wife and two sons all tested positive for COVID-19, adding that all four are fully vaccinated, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

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More must-reads:

  • NFL coaches, executives 'nervous' about looming player COVID-19 tests
  • Why did NFL commissioner Roger Goodell refuse to postpone Broncos' COVID-19 game last season?
  • The 'QBs from the first week Tom Brady started a game' quiz

Related slideshow: COVID-19 and sports: Latest updates across all leagues (Provided by Yardbarker)

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