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Scouting Combine ditches the bubble concept

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons share the storylines they're most excited to cover in the 2022 NFL offseason.

Sometimes, collective action works -- even without a union.

The NFL and the Scouting Combine, facing a threat that 157 players represented by 14 agencies would skip workouts at next week’s annual Underwear Olympics, has ditched a controversial bubble concept for Indianapolis.

The Scouting Combine has advised all that participants will be permitted to exit the “secure Combine areas during free time in your schedule . . . at your own risk.” Players who prefer to remain in secure areas will be permitted to have approved medical support personnel enter.

Also, wearing a mask while on site “is recommended, but not required” for all activities other than air travel and medical exams, during which masks remain mandatory.

The Combine has not changed the workout schedule, which has players performing the 225-pound bench press on the same day that they conduct on-field workouts.

Still, it’s a win for the Combine and for the players who will be there. They won’t be prevented from accessing their trainers and coaches, and the ill-advised concept of a bubble (given that the NFL has spent the last two months shifting from pandemic it endemic) has burst.