UPDATE: NFL Alters COVID Protocols Ahead of Combine
Following backlash from a group of agents and the over 150 NFL prospects they represent, the NFL has amended its strict COVID-19 protocols ahead of the annual combine.
Per a report from ESPN, the NFL Scouting Combine sent a memo to each of the prospects planning to attend, informing them of the altered protocols.
After originally planning for a "bubble" format where participants would be barred from accessing their personal trainers, nutritionists, doctors, etc., the league has agreed to permit players to leave the facility if they chose to do so.
The yearly event is scheduled to take place the first week of March in Indianapolis in Lucas Oil Stadium and will feature eleven former Crimson Tide players.
Originally posted: February 21, 2022
Per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, up to 155 of the 324 total prospects that received invites to this year's combine are prepared to formally boycott the event, citing concerns over the NFL's strict mandates related to COVID-19.
In a statement issued by the NFL to each of the prospects set to attend this year's event, the league outlined it's plan for a "bubble" format, similar to that of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Players who plan to attend the event, per the issued statement from the NFL, would be subject to remaining in a confined bubble and would not be allowed to visit with their trainers, doctors, nutritionists etc.
A group of agents who represent over half of the participants have reportedly pushed back against the league, threatening to hold the players out of interviews and drills, only participating in medical evaluations, per a report from ESPN.
On February 20th, the NFLPA released its own statement aimed at prospects attending the combine, urging young athletes to reconsider participating at all in what the organization called an "antiquated" system.
Just a year after the NFL was forced to cancel the combine outright, the yearly event seems to be in hot water once again. With no word from the league or its representatives yet regarding the situation, there is much that is still left to be decided.
As of now, discussions are ongoing between the league and agents representing these prospects, but the future of the event remains in the air.
The 2022 NFL Combine is scheduled to take place March 1-7 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but whether or not many of the participants will be there will have to be seen. The Alabama Crimson Tide is set to have eleven attendees, but, again, whether or not they will participate remains unknown.