NFL sends memo with coronavirus protocols for players to return to facilities

The NFL and the players’ union sent a planner to the 32 teams Monday outlining procedures for the full reopening of their practice facilities, which were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a lengthy four-part memo to the clubs written by commissioner Roger Goodell and approved by the NFL Players Association, the league described protocols focusing on screening, testing, infection prevention and treatment for COVID-19, including response for new infections.

Also included were instructions on proper facility access, cleaning and disinfecting; physical distancing; hygiene, health education and medical services; food preparation; supplies; and team travel.

No firm timetable has been set for the return of most players to team complexes — only some coaches and players rehabilitating injuries have been allowed to enter the buildings. But this is the next major step toward allowing all players back in club facilities.NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the NFL continues planning for a July return. He adds that among the protocols listed are:

  •  Locker room restructuring to keep players six feet apart
  • Virtual meetings when possible
  • Masks being worn by players whenever they do not interfere with “athletic activities”
  • Disinfecting helmets, shoulder pads

Teams are discussing allowing veterans who have changed teams and rookies to visit facilities for physicals before June 26, Pelissero adds.

Goodell had ordered all of those facilities closed in late March, and the league has taken small steps toward reopening them. Last week, coaching staffs were approved to return, but only if local governmental rules allowed it.

Source: Associated Press, Arizona Cardinals

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