After it was initially reported the NFL was set to employ a special COVID-19 injured reserve list for 2020, where players would be eligible to return after three weeks, further reporting has indicated a different plan for the league this season. Every team would have the ability to return an unlimited number of players to the active roster following placement on injured reserve or the non-football injury/illness list, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. After three weeks the player will be eligible to return to practice regardless if the injury is football or non-football related. Once that player returns to practice, the team will have 21 days to place him back on the active roster. This gives teams the leverage to use the maximum number of players available to play in 2020, making the practice squad and expanded roster size (per the new CBA) even more vital.
Players who test positive for COVID-19 will be placed on the exempt/commissioner permission list. Players on the list for less than four weeks will get a one-week roster exemption. If the player is one the list for four weeks or more, it becomes a two-week exemption. This will take effect once the player is medically cleared to resume practice, and there is no minimum or maximum stay on the commissioner exempt list. Players on the commissioner exempt list will be fully compensated, no matter if that player contacted coronavirus outside the workplace. This means players won't be deducted pay while out.
Earlier this month, the NFL sent clubs COVID-19 protocols for training camp and the preseason that also details a breakdown for how to operate with individuals who have been exposed. Under those parameters, individuals who test negative may return to the club facility but are subject to increased symptom monitoring and daily PCR virus testing along with normal procedures. If the individual tests positive and is showing no symptoms, they'll need to have 10 days pass since the initial positive result or have five days pass since the positive test and have two consecutive negative PCR tests separated by 24 hours.
As for an individual who tests positive and is symptomatic, they cannot return to the field until at least 10 days pass since the first sign of symptoms appeared, have at least 72 hours pass since symptoms have occurred, and they'll need to be approved by the club physical after a consultation with the ICS and NFL chief medical officer.
NFL training camps are set to open beginning on July 28.