With training camp ready to kick off, NFL players will get their first look at football in a world dominated by COVID-19. The league and the NFLPA have been negotiating safety protocols over the past few months, and the players association just reportedly inserted yet another safeguard to help keep teams in line when it comes to abiding by safety rules. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the NFLPA sent players a phone number for them to report team violations of the agreed-upon COVID-19 protocols. Players will be able to text the number if they observe a violation and will remain anonymous. The union can file a grievance on players' behalves for perceived violations.
This is similar to what the NBA set up in their "bubble," except this phone number will exist to keep the league in line, not other players. The NBA set up a hotline for the Disney World bubble, where anyone inside can call and report violations of the various rules and protocols. Several calls were reportedly made, including one against Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard for not wearing a mask.
This is a good safety measure, as everyone understands a minor outbreak could derail the league's plans for a safe regular season. Last week, we entered the first tier of training camp -- where players were allowed to report to team facilities to take COVID-19 tests. According to the agreement in place between the NFL and the NFLPA, players must register multiple negative tests before they are allowed to begin on-field work. If a player either tests positive for the coronavirus or it is deemed they were in close contact with an infected person, they will be placed on the COVID/19 reserve list.
Per agreed-upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on players' medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs also may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19. Players have until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET to opt out of the 2020 season. To keep up with who will pass on playing this year, check out CBS Sports' opt-out tracker here.