(New York) NFL clubs can open their facilities on Tuesday, if allowed by state and municipal authorities.
In a note sent to the 32 teams by Commissioner Roger Goodell and obtained by the Associated Press, Goodell stressed that clubs must be "in compliance with all the additional public health requirements in their jurisdiction, and have implemented the protocols developed by (Dr. Allen Sills, the chief medical officer of the league), and distributed to all clubs on May 6. "
The facilities have been closed since the end of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, each team had to submit a plan to the league for the reopening of its training center.
"Clubs that cannot meet the criteria on May 19 may reopen their facilities at the earliest date thereafter, if they can meet the criteria," added Goodell.
Sills will host a training program for club infection control officers on Monday evening. This is required.
In view of the openings, it was already established in the protocols that:
- Until further orders from the NFL, teams cannot have more than 50% of their personnel in the establishment, without exceeding 75 people.
If a club wishes to deploy staff to more than one site, all sites must apply the same health and safety protocols, and the combined number of employees at all sites cannot exceed 75.
- No member of the coaching staff may return to the establishment during the first reopening phase. "It is important to ensure equity among the 32 clubs," wrote Goodell.
- No player can be in the establishment other than those undergoing medical treatment or rehabilitation. Conditioning coaches involved in player rehabilitation can continue this work in the facility. Otherwise, they will be banned until the rest of the coaching staff is allowed to return.
- Staff, football operations / football administration staff, equipment staff, medical staff and nutritionists can be there.
Any incidence of COVID-19 in the facility should be reported immediately to Dr. Sills and the team's ICO.
Clubs must also promptly report any changes to government regulations to the league.
"After this first phase is implemented," said Goodell, "and as more states and localities adopt policies that allow facilities to reopen, I expect more staff, including including coaches, be allowed to return to club facilities within a relatively short period of time.
In the meantime, we continue to work with the NFLPA and our medical teams to develop protocols that could allow a number of players to return to club facilities next month. "
NFL teams would normally organize team activities in May, followed by the minicamps in June. Because of the pandemic, these activities were kept at bay.
Coaches and assistants worked with players via digital applications, not in facilities. These meetings can take place four hours a day, four days a week.
In the past two months, the NFL organized the combined, started the run and held the draft.
The league has published the regular season schedule and plans to go as planned, starting September 10 (with a Houston game in Kansas City).
However, there are emergency plans for a shortened season, postponement of matches and matches in empty stadiums.