NFL CMO Dr. Allen Sills: Players will be held out of practice, games due to flu-like symptoms

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills told reporters Thursday that as the country approaches cold and flu season, people can expect to see players, coaches and personnel miss practices and potentially games due to flu-like symptoms in an effort to rule out exposure to COVID-19.

Symptoms such as coughs, sore throats and stuffy noses will be reasons to send someone home for the day, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

“Even if they have a negative [COVID-19] test that day, we’re going to hold that individual out of the facility,” Sills said.

Sills added: “When in doubt, we’re gonna go with the most conservative (approach).”

Here is the treatment rubric for people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Dr. Sills says how this timeline is applied depends on multiple factors, including alternative diagnoses (e.g. strep). "When in doubt, we’re gonna go with the most conservative" approach. pic.twitter.com/TmXyXPHHNv

Sills also said that there has not been an indication of any on-field transmission of the novel coronavirus, per NFL Network’s Judy Battista.

The Cleveland Browns sent wide receiver Odell Beckham home from practice Thursday with an illness. Coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters Beckham has not tested positive for COVID-19 thus far, and they had him leave the facility out of an “abundance of caution.”

The Atlanta Falcons announced Thursday morning that the team would work remotely that day due to a positive COVID-19 test. Pelissero reported the confirmed positive test was an assistant coach, and the team had the option to return to the facility Thursday afternoon, but the plan is to return Friday.

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