As training camps open for veteran COVID-19 testing, the message from many coaches and general managers is clear: The battle against the virus won't be won in one week or month. It will be a year-long fight.
"The reality is you can't let your guard down at any time," Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said during a conference call on Monday, via the Associated Press. "We feel a real responsibility to keep everyone safe. The plan has been efficient and we are working through it every day.
"I'm optimistic as a league we can do it. We have two opponents -- fighting this virus and whoever our opponent is on Sunday. ... We're not going to eliminate the virus, we know that. We're trying to minimize the risk as much as we can."
Minimizing as many risks as possible is the goal of the NFL and NFLPA's joint agreement on the COVID-19 protocols, which call for face coverings in buildings and social distancing and utilizing virtual meetings, among many other stipulations. Obviously, football is a contact sport that can't account for social distancing at all times, but the league and union have attempted to implement as many safety precautions as possible.
With expanded practice squads and unlimited options to use the reserve/COVID-19 list for players who test positive or come in close contact with an infected person, Telesco noted that he has a bit more flexibility adding players given the unprecedented circumstances.
"Speaking from a GM perspective, they have given the teams a lot of flexibility about handling COVID-19 and injured reserve along with gameday rosters if emergencies come up," he said. "I feel good about the playing rules going in because it isn't going to be resolved by September or October."