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NFL, NFLPA discussing potential changes to COVID-19 protocols based on new CDC guidance

New CDC guidelines are driving potential changes to the NFL's COVID-19 protocols that would cut the isolation period from 10 days to five days, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday.

The changes are currently being discussed between the the league, its medical experts and the NFLPA. The move could allow players who test positive on a Monday to play on an ensuing Sunday, although it's not yet clear whether unvaccinated players would be provided the same opportunity, Pelissero added.

A record 106 players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, the third consecutive Monday for a record-high, per Pelissero.

On Tuesday, Colts starting quarterback Carson Wentz was placed on the list. Some top players placed on the COVID-19 list Monday include Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, Patriots edge rusher Matt Judon, Titans wide receiver Julio Jones, Colts offensive tackle Braden Smith and Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation, based on its current understanding of the Omicron variant, calls for a five-day isolation for people who test positive, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of mask-wearing when around others.

Earlier this month, the NFL updated its COVID-19 policy to allow vaccinated individuals to "test out" of protocols more quickly provided the person is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic. Unvaccinated players currently must miss 10 days if they test positive for the virus.

The latest discussions come following a rash of recent positive tests that required adjustments to the NFL's Week 15 schedule in the form of three postponed games. The NFL implemented enhanced protocols the following day that included changes to the testing cadence for fully vaccinated, asymptomatic players and staff.

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