Facing mounting pressure from draft prospects and player agents alike, the NFL has decided to amend its Covid-19 protocols for the Scouting Combine in early March. The league sent a memo to all invited players informing them that plans to create and enforce bubble environment have been scrapped.
Players are still encouraged to remain “within the secure Combine areas at all times.” However, there will not be any punishment for leaving the compounds at Lucas Oil Stadium and Crowne Plaza Hotel in Indianapolis.
One of the key issues of this year’s event has therefore been addressed by the league. Whether or not this means that the planned player boycott will be off as well remains to be seen.
At least 155 prospects were prepared not to participate in parts of the Scouting Combine, protesting both the bubble environment the NFL planned to introduce and other issues such as the scheduling of multiple testing events on the same day. They received support from the NFL Players Association, which mentioned its “long-standing opposition to the NFL Scouting Combine” in a statement.
As Tuesday morning, one problem has seemingly been solved. The schedule, however, has not be altered and it seems unlikely that will happen anytime soon. Drills such as the 40-yard dash and bench press, for example, will therefore still be held on the same day.
The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine will take place on March 1-7 in Indianapolis. The event was canceled last year due to concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic.