The NBA has made arrangements aimed at preventing regular testing of players inside the Orlando bubble from impacting Orlando residents who would otherwise have to wait in line behind NBA players who would be repeatedly jumping it. Because the NFL isn’t using a bubble approach (given the current state of the virus, the NFL may wish it had), the league’s players and coaches will be tested in their home markets.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL and NFL Players Association are on the brink of having to grapple with that issue in several cities.
Houston, L.A., Miami, Dallas, and Phoenix currently are in the middle of significant COVID-19 hot spots. If the NFL agrees to the players’ request to implement testing on a daily basis, the test results will be needed within 24 hours or the daily testing approach will be pointless. And if a 24-hour turnaround is implemented, the NFL will indeed be slowing down the ability of the general public to get their own results in cities where the virus is running rampant.
Given the manner in which the virus is spreading throughout much of the country, other cities could soon join the five listed above. Whether the NFL takes the same steps in each hot-spot city as the NBA did in Orlando or whether the NFL comes up with some other strategy, the current explosion of the virus makes it harder for the NFL to implement 24-hour turnaround testing.
And that will make it harder for the NFL to avoid the kind of outbreaks that will threaten to shut down teams and, in time, the entire league.