Coronavirus Update: New York Jets pull all scouts, personnel off the road

Kristian Dyer

With growing concern over COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, SportsIllustrated.com and “Jets Country’ has learned that the New York Jets are taking the necessary precaution of pulling all scouts and coaches off the road. This decision impacts the organization’s attendance of all Pro Day and scouting trips. 

The Jets are following in the path of several other NFL teams, who have pulled members of their personnel team from scouting evaluations ahead of next month’s NFL draft for the foreseeable future. In the past couple of days, teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington had pulled their personnel representatives off the road. 

This week, Jets scouts were tracked at Pro Day events at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Oregon State among other college programs. Nearly all BCS and FCS programs hold a Pro Day showcasing their draft-eligible football players, making this a busy and necessary time for scouting departments. 

The decision by the Jets follows the better part of prudence, given the spread of the pandemic and the concern over further infection. 

On Wednesday night, the NBA suspended their season and on Thursday morning, MLS announced that the league will be suspended for the next 30 days. Major League Baseball is suspending spring training. The Ivy League has canceled all sports over the coronavirus concern, including their basketball tournament and all spring sports. 

Sporting events, given the close proximity of fans within a confined space, have been an area given to scrutiny as the pandemic continues to spread and grow. As of Thursday afternoon, there are over 1,200 reported cases of the virus in the United States. 

Per the Center for Disease Control, 44 states have reported cases of virus.  

The NFL told SportsIllustrated.com earlier this week that it was monitoring the situation closely but there were no current plans to cancel events due to the virus. The next planned NFL function involving large crowds of fans would be the NFL Draft, slated to run in Las Vegas for three days starting on April 23. The league said free agency will open as planned on March 18.