Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the NFL is setting a mandate to try and prevent the spread of the infectious disease.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday night that all teams are to shut down their facilities at 6 p.m. local time on Wednesday, according to a memo obtained by ESPN. In the memo, the league states that club facilities must remain closed for all personnel, with the exception of the following members:
- Employees such as athletic trainers or physicians who are providing ongoing medical treatment to players.
- Employees such as the director of facilities, security personnel or independent contractors necessary to maintain the physical security of the facility and its contents.
- Employees such as technology personnel necessary to maintain the security and operational capabilities of the club's IT network to enable remote work by club football and business staff.
The league also expects teams to go about their normal procedures for this time of the offseason.
"During this time, clubs are free to conduct all normal business operations, including signing players, evaluating draft-eligible prospects, selling tickets, and other activities to prepare for the 2020 season," the memo said, via ESPN.
Without the training facilities open, it makes the offseason programs for all NFL teams increasingly difficult. Meeting with players for pre-draft visits, doing physicals for free agents, having a location for players to workout together, those are all things that now have to be adjusted - in some cases eliminated - because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the NFL's mandate.
The NFL reportedly has no intentions of pushing back the 2020 season due to the NFL Draft, OTAs and minicamp potentially being pushed back to later dates. However, their decision may change if the outbreak gets worse and they are actually forced to push those dates back.