CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have entered intensive protocol for their week of rehearsal due to the Falcons Marlon Davidson’s exposure to the defensive tackle during Sunday’s victory in Atlanta. The Falcons put Davidson on the reserve / COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday morning, Carolina has not placed a player on the reserve / COVID-19 list, taking these precautionary measures.
NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills, in consultation with the club’s infection control officer and medical staff, determines when teams should follow post-exposure COVID procedures, as well as when they are relieved of additional steps .
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The Panthers had already implemented most of the intensive phases of the protocol into their regular weekly schedule. However, there will be some changes for the Bears Preparation Week.
- Practice or practice can take place on the driving range or in the indoor facility, but all coaches and staff must wear masks and all players must wear an Oakley mask or mask. Players can remove their helmets for breaks, but they must be more than six feet away from each other.
- Coaches cannot have in-person matches in a room that is smaller than the full squad room.
- Only 10 players can train in the weight room with up to five staff members in the room.
- The player’s only sustained activity within the facility can be medical and rehabilitation. Players can participate in outdoor rehabilitation, but only if they are alone or under the supervision of a therapist at an appropriate distance.
- All players must obtain the previous day’s COVID-19 PCR test results before all players are allowed into the facility.
- All meals must be taken and brought to eliminate seating in the dining area.
- Players can only stay in the locker room for 15 minutes or less with their masks on at all times.
“All of these things are minor at the expense of safety and making sure everyone here is safe,” Rhule said.
Rhule chose to change the heaviest day of the practice week from Wednesday to Thursday to get players used to wearing masks for the entire practice.
“It’s just what the NFL tells us to do, we do it,” said running back Mike Davis. “We don’t apologize here.”
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater chose to wear a helmet with a visor instead of a mask. Bridgewater usually trains with a visor, but added the full face shield on Wednesday.
“I prefer to just wear the helmet with the full visor just so I can speak better and breathe better,” said Bridgewater. “But if we have to wear them, I’ll just wear it, especially if it’s for my safety.”
Rhule said as of now, the Panthers would be through intensive protocol by Saturday, meaning the club would complete it before playing for the Bears.