NFL Cancels Pro Days, Traveling to Visit Draft Prospects Due to Coronavirus

Author:
Publish date:

The NFL sent out a memo to teams prohibiting them from traveling to visit draft prospects or inviting players to their facilities.

"After considering recent medical and public safety information related to COVID-19, we have decided to prohibit in-person pre-Draft visits involving draft-eligible players effective at the end of this business day, until further notice," the league said in a statement Friday.

The NFL's decision will shut down pro days held at schools across the country. While top prospects have had plenty of chances to play in major all-star games or go to the combine, bottom tier players will miss another chance to workout in front of scouts.

Several schools had already begun to cancel or postpone pro days due to the coronavirus outbreak, and NFL teams were limiting or canceling coaches and scouts' traveling plans.

Teams can still conduct interviews with draft prospects over the phone or through video conferences through the day prior to the draft. However, a team can have no more than three phone calls or video conferences with a single player in a week. Their conversations cannot exceed an hour or interfere with a player's school schedule.

"We have not taken this step lightly but believe that it is most consistent with protecting the health of our club personnel, draft-eligible players, and the public," the NFL said.

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted sports around by the globe. In the U.S., the NBA, NHL and MLS have suspended their seasons until further notice. MLB delayed the start of its season by two weeks, which was set to open on March 26. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic on Wednesday, and there are more than 135,400 confirmed cases of the virus globally across at least 111 countries.