CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have entered an intensive protocol for their practice week after the Falcons came into contact with defensive lineman Marlon Davidson during Sunday’s win in Atlanta. Falcons put Davidson on the reserve / COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday morning, Carolina had taken this precautionary measure and did not place any player on the reserve / COVID-19 list.
The NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Alan Seals, with the advice of the Club Infection Control Officer and medical staff, decides when teams must follow post-exposure covid procedures, as well as when they are relieved of additional steps.
“I think it’s such a serious subject that I don’t think we have time to be disappointed with it,” head coach Matt Rule said after Wednesday’s practice. “It’s a matter of adapting. I think what happens is always something positive that can come out of it. So we’re just trying to make the most of it and move on.”
The Panthers have implemented most of the intensive protocol steps in their regular weekly schedule. Still, there will be a few changes for the week of preparation for the bear.
- Practice or walk-throws can take place on the practice field or at an indoor facility, but all coaches and staff must wear masks, and all players must wear an Oakley faceshield or mask. Players can take off their helmets for a break but must be no more than six feet away from each other.
- There can be no individual meetings in a room smaller than the coach’s entire team room.
- Only 10 players with a maximum of five staff members in the room can workout in the weight room.
- The only ongoing player activity within the facility may be medical and rehabilitation. Players can participate in outdoor rehabilitation, but only if they are on their own or are supervised by a physician at appropriate intervals.
- All players must obtain the result of their Covid-19 PCR exam from the previous day before any players are allowed in the facility.
- All meals must be grabbed to finish the seat in the dining area.
- Players can only be in the locker room for 15 minutes or less with masks worn at all times.
“At the expense of safety and to make sure everyone here is safe, all those things are trivial,” Rule said.
Rule prefers the tendency of players to wear masks for the entire practice to shift to the heaviest day of the practice week from Wednesday to Thursday.
“That’s what the NFL tells us to do, we do it,” Mike Davis said, running back. “We don’t make excuses here.”
Quarterback Teddy chose to wear a helmet with a face shield instead of a bridgewater mask. Bridgewater usually practices with a visor, but added a full face ield on Wednesday.
Bridgewater said, “I just wear a helmet with a full face ield so I can talk and breathe better.” “But if we have to wear them, I’ll just wear them, especially if it’s for my own safety.”
The Panthers will be through intensive protocol by Saturday, Rule said, meaning the club will complete it before the Bears play.