The NFL has released its plan to return players and reopen club facilities.
In a four-part memo to clubs Monday morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined a list of protocols that must be followed once facilities are again fully operational. The memo did not provide a timetable of when exactly players will be allowed to return in full.
Some of the protocols include: daily testing upon entering facilities, reconfiguration of locker rooms to ensure six feet of distance, disinfecting of helmets and shoulder pads after every use and conducting meetings virtually whenever possible. Masks will also be required at all times, except when they interfere with “athletic activities,” and strength and conditioning workouts will be limited to small groups of no more than 15 individuals.
The league will also implement restricted areas in facilities and a tier system to separate groups of essential personnel. Tier 1 will consist of players and personnel who must directly access players, such as coaches, athletic trainers and team physicians. Tier 2 is made up of individuals who may need to be in close proximity to Tier 1 personnel, such as owners, general managers and media relations representatives. Tier 3 makes up the support staff of the facility that do not have to interact with players, such as cleaning service providers and security.
Goodell also acknowledged that the league’s protocols cannot entirely eliminate the risk of contracting COVID-19, and that they can change accordingly as knowledge about the virus continues to grow.
While it appears the plan is to be full go in time for training camp, the league and NFLPA are reportedly discussing a scenario where rookies and free agents that changed teams can return to team facilities before June 26, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
No dates set yet and no minicamps expected, but the NFL and NFLPA are discussing the possibility of certain players — such as rookies, and veterans who changed teams and need physicals — returning to club facilities on a limited basis before June 26, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 8, 2020
Coaching staff were allowed to return to club facilities last Friday, while rehabbing and injured players have been permitted for over a month now.
You can read the full list of protocols implemented by the league here:
And here we have the NFL’s agreed upon protocols for players to return to team facilities. pic.twitter.com/1H9mWJepn4— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) June 8, 2020
Continued ⬇️⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/QT9EAvYmsk— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) June 8, 2020