UPDATE: Well, we have another correction. News has been flying around, but it looks like players, no matter when they tested positive, are eligible to return using the new, quicker testing rules. That means we could see some names out there this weekend we weren’t counting on, but that of course remains to be seen.
To be clear: The new NFL COVID protocols make it possible for anyone who's tested positive this week to "test back in" and play this weekend (yes, even if you tested positive today and play Saturday) as long as they're vaccinated and show no symptoms.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 16, 2021
UPDATE: The new rules for testing out of the COVID-19 protocols will not be retroactive, per Greg Bell. That means that players who have gone onto the list already, will still need the two negative tests 24 hours apart.
The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to new COVID-19 protocols. These new rules stem from the current outbreak of COVID-19 across the league and will tighten up mask usage and outside contact on the road, but probably the biggest change is that a vaccinated player who is asymptomatic can return to team activities with two negative tests taken the same day.
New memo on the NFL and NFLPA’s adjusted COVID-19 protocols pic.twitter.com/wC98yqlVUQ— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2021
With so many players testing positive, but also being asymptomatic, the league has decided that as long as they are vaccinated, they can test out of the protocols with two negative tests, including rapid-result tests, as early as the day after their positive test. Before, they needed two negative tests 24 hours apart. This should give players a much better shot at returning to the field in a more timely manner.
There are many players who this could help allow them to play this weekend, so we should start seeing players returning quicker than they have been as we move forward. And, it could help save your fantasy season too.