SI Insider: Looking at the NFL's First Stage Plans to Open Practice Facilities

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Madelyn Burke: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams detailing what it looks like as the facilities look ahead to reopening. I'm joined now by MMQB senior writer Albert Breer. Albert, can you break down what exactly was in this memo and what do teams need to see and facilities need to see to be able to reopen?

Albert Breer: Well, it's it's obviously the first step of trying to get people back into their home facilities and working again. And so, you know, a big piece of this, of course, is going to be sanitizing and another big piece of this is going to be federal and local laws and what's allowed and what's not allowed. But they sort of outline what the process is going to look like and who's going to be allowed in. And I think the most interesting part here, Madelyn, was the fact that this first phase is not going to include players outside of guys who are going in for regular rehab sort of work. And so where you're going to see, I think, is maybe some non-football employees going in, maybe some coaches, maybe some scouts. But in the first phase, there's going to be up to seventy-five people were allowed into the building. I think that number is interesting because it doesn't it's going to allow you to bring in maybe certain people in certain departments and slowly work people into the building. And of course, the other interesting part being that that they aren't going to allow players in right away, of course, addresses the the competitive balance issue.

Madelyn Burke: Right. An important thing for fans to remember is there are a lot of people who work in these buildings that are not players or coaches. But as you mentioned, players are not part of that first wave. Roger Goodell had previously mentioned that no teams will be able to begin on-field activities until every team facility is safe to do so. Is he still sticking to that or does this kind of make room for that pivot?

Albert Breer: Yeah, they like to stick to that. You know, I'd also say this. I was on the crossover podcast with Chris Mannix and he brought up a great point here. And I'll I'll repeat it. I mean, he said that the NBA teams were actually thinking this way for a while, too, that they were going to keep everything shut down until everyone could open back up. You know, and ultimately what wound up happening over a few weeks time, as you saw, some states were much slower to come back than other states. And then the question becomes, do you really want Atlanta Hawks players or Dallas Mavericks players forced to go to, say, a LifeTime fitness, when the team facility is sitting right there and it's a safer environment for them to work? Even if, say, players from the Lakers or the Clippers or the Celtics or the Knicks or the Nets, can't go into their home facilities. And so it's a tricky question to answer. I think the NFL feels fortunate that they don't have to answer it right now. What will be really interesting is if we get to the middle of July and we're right on the doorstep of training camp and say New York, New Jersey, and California still aren't open. But most of the other states are. I mean, that's when the decision point comes. The NFL is comfortable going forward probably for the rest of the offseason program through May and June. The way they have it now to try to create an equitable situation across the league. What will be really interesting, again, is when we get closer to training camp, if so much of the country is open and word a much more critical juncture in the NFL calendar.