JC Tretter’s push paid off.
The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Wednesday an agreement to continue daily testing for COVID-19. The NFLPA tweeted daily tests would continue through Sept. 5, and the league’s memo to teams said “until further notice.”
Tretter, the Browns center and NFLPA president, was adamant in an interview with reporters last week that the players and league would be best served by extending daily testing.
The original agreement stipulated daily testing for the first 14 days of training camp. If a team registered less than 5 percent positive tests for the two weeks, the tests would’ve scaled back to every other day.
The league said the overall positive tests have been below 1 percent, with no team above 2 percent. But Tretter pointed to the outbreaks among the Marlins and Cardinals in Major League Baseball, citing the lag time with every-other-day testing. Like MLB, the NFL isn’t operating in a bubble.
“Because when someone is sick and shedding virus in the building, it sweeps through that place quickly,” Tretter said. “It is extremely contagious, and you want to make sure that the people in the building are not sick.
“Throughout this, there are going to be constant needs to evolve and change and make decisions that are best to keep the game moving forward. We will continue to learn from our errors and other leagues’ errors, and I think that is something we definitely need to look at and definitely need to push for is the continuation of everyday testing.”
The daily testing regimen includes players’ mandatory days off.
“We will continue to monitor positivity rates within each club and relevant information from each team community to inform our assessment of testing frequency ahead of the regular season,” the NFLPA tweeted.
BACK AT IT
The Browns will officially start practice Friday after two days of OTA-style sessions in helmets. The ramp-up started with a strength and conditioning period after players reported back to Berea following the virtual offseason program.
With training camp closed to fans because of the pandemic, the team will live stream from 2-4 p.m. on practice days. The practices begin Friday and run through Aug. 30, excluding Saturday, Aug. 21 and Aug. 26. The practice Sept. 4 will also be streamed.
Browns radio personality Nathan Zegura and former player Joshua Cribbs will usually host the show. But on Aug. 22, 23 and 30, former players Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins will join NFL Network’s Chris Rose and Cribbs.
The Browns brought back defensive end George Obinna. He was signed Wednesday and defensive tackle Jeff Whatley was waived.
Obinna (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) is an undrafted rookie out of Sacramento State. The Browns signed him May 5 then waived him July 31. He had 33.5 sacks, 136 tackles, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 46 college games.
The roster sits at 80 players.