Before the season, the NFL boasted of a new contact-tracing technology that would keep players from getting too close together and that would make it easier to work backward to identify others who need to be tested and/or evaluated in the event a player tests positive. During the season, there’s an apparent problem with the so-called “Proximity Recording Device.”

As noted in the immediate aftermath of the news that Saints had learned late last night that fullback Michael Burton had tested positive for COVID-19, the contact-tracing process identified three people who required further testing, etc. The Saints identified on their own four others who were sitting close enough to Burton on the flight to Detroit that the Proximity Recording Device should have recorded their proximity to Burton. It should have, but it didn’t.

It’s important for the league to be willing to take a hard look at its protocols on a continuous basis, and to ask hard questions about whether outbreaks arise not from the execution of the protocols but their design. As one source recently explained it to PFT, the league seems intent on finding someone with the Titans to blame for the outbreak in the Tennessee organization, because if there was no flaw in execution of the protocols then, ipso facto, the flaw emerged from the manner in which the various rules and regulation were crafted.

The near-miss for the Saints shows that there’s a flaw in the operation of the Proximity Recording Device — a flaw that the Saints took it upon themselves to rectify by engaging in more contact tracing than the NFL’s new technology required. The question now becomes whether the league will acknowledge, and fix, the apparent problems with the Proximity Recording Device.

Saints’ situation exposes flaw in NFL’s contact tracing system originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

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