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NFL updates COVID-19 protocols for player availability and roster flexibility ahead of postseason

The NFL has informed teams that players who are currently in the league's COVID-19 testing cadence will be permitted to join or try out for a new club without having to start a new six-day entry testing period, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports, per a source.

The ruling, effective immediately, will be a big deal for teams to backfill their rosters down the stretch, Pelissero adds.

Before this new ruling, a player cut or unsigned after a tryout had to wait six days to join a new club, which made it tough for teams with injuries to get someone ready to play the next week. Now they can sign with a team provided the player doesn't miss test, travels privately and then passes a rapid test.

Pelissero adds that this new ruling can prevent a future scenario like the Broncos had when they had practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton play quarterback against the Saints two weeks ago after all other QBs on the roster were unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol. If another team loses all its QBs late in the week because of COVID protocols, it can now sign a QB off another team's practice squad and start him on Sunday.

The NFL has also increased the number of tryouts a club is allowed per week from five to 10, and eliminated the limit on number of tryouts a player can have with one team in a season, which basically allows tryouts to last indefinitely.

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