SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- COVID-19 protocols continue to be the main topic of discussion when it comes to the NFL keeping teams safe amid the pandemic.
Now, with the season moving along teams have "bye weeks" approaching.
The first set of "bye weeks" come in week five -- two weeks from now -- and there is currently no plan on what players and team employees will be allowed to do, during these weeks amid the pandemic.
With contract tracing and testing measures working better than anyone could have ever anticipated, the NFL has no new confirmed positive tests for players or coaches through the first two weeks.
The league is now about to approach a new phase -- which are "bye weeks" where certain teams will skip a week of playing a game, and typically, this is the time when many team members take vacations, travel, and do as they wish. But with the league monitoring all teams with daily COVID-19 testing, they now come across the question of how in-season testing and tracing will continue with bye weeks approaching.
With no regulations in place for what team employees can and cannot do during the bye, the NFL and NFL Players Association are holding an executive committee meeting this week to discuss plans for how in-season testing and tracing should continue.
The first set of bye weeks come in week five, with the Lions and Packers both off that week, and then in week six, the Raiders, Patriots, Saints, and Seahawks are off.
One NFL source said, "this is the next big step for both sides."
Another source involved in the process said, "We worked out how to handle opening the buildings, and how to get through camp and how to handle practices and then, eventually, how to handle travel. But this is another huge step in terms of how we handle the pandemic and try to mitigate risk as best we can."