Notre Dame Sets Three-Phase Plan For Returning To Football

Bryan Driskell

Irish Breakdown reported a week ago that Notre Dame players would begin voluntary workouts on June 22nd after a period of testing and quarantining regarding COVID-19. 

ESPN college football reporter Heather Dinich confirmed that report and expanded on what the return would look like, reporting that Fighting Irish players should begin returning to campus as early as next week as the program begins working towards a June 22 start date for workouts.

In her report, Dinich wrote that Notre Dame officials said players would be checking into The Morris Inn, which is on campus, over the next week. According to Dinich, players would stay in "single-occupancy" rooms and have meals at the hotel until the fall semester begins.

She wrote:

"Once the Irish have all been quarantined and tested along with staff, the football team will move into Phase 1 -- the voluntary participation in workouts with group sizes no larger than 10 -- of the school's three-phase plan."

Testing will continue during the week of June 15th, and Dinich reported that players and staff members would each take a "drive-up nasal swab test and antibody test." The report said each swab test would cost $100 and the antibody test would cost $50.

Dinich went on to write:

"The football players will have their temperatures taken daily and fill out a symptom survey before they enter any athletic facilities. Head team trainer Rob Hunt said the Irish reconfigured their weight room in a linear way so that the athletes are going in one way and out the other side, and there's 'a really good flow and space between equipment.'"

Phase two and three involves how the process will go for football workouts. Here's more from Dinich's report:

"Hunt said the initial phase includes strength and conditioning exercises, which are tiered around their daily online academic schedule. Masks are required for employees in the strength and conditioning area and are recommended for the athletes for indoor workouts.

"During Phase 2, group sizes of no more than 50 people will be allowed, followed by an unlimited amount in Phase 3. Notre Dame will move to the next phase only if the first one is working."

Earlier this week it was reported that Notre Dame and Navy were moving their season-opening contest to Annapolis, Md., the home of the Midshipmen. That game will now be played Labor Day weekend.

With the Irish players now having a clear plan for return, the season is one step closer to going on with as smoothly as possible considering what has transpired in the last three months.

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