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NFL Combine gives in, relaxing rules for support personnel

A threatened boycott now seems to be off the table.

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Over the weekend, a memo sent to all 324 invitees to the NFL Combine (which begins this coming Tuesday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis) prompted a revolt.

The memo laid out COVID protocols for the annual event, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Among them was a stipulation that each athlete could allow just one “medical support person” (that is, a trainer) to the Combine’s activities, which include medical testing, workouts and personal interviews with teams.

Almost half of those invited to participate were threatening to boycott the event because of this COVID “bubble.” But according to a Monday evening report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Combine’s policies have now been changed.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Brandt, the key issue for the 155 players (and the 13 sports agencies that represent them) was simple: they were being limited to a single support person.

So for now, it appears that the threatened boycott is off — and beginning this Tuesday, March 1, NFL fans will once again be able to watch most of their favorite college football stars participate in the Combine’s activities.