As the NFL season approaches, league offices have begun to ease up with certain restrictions in the early phases of reopening.
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, along with the rest of his coaching staff, will be permitted to return to team facilities starting Friday. In a memo released by the NFL to all 32 teams, coaches have been given the green light to return to facilities. Players remain restricted from entering unless they are undergoing rehabilitation treatment.
The memo allows up to 100 team employees in the facilities starting Friday.
“This will advise that, beginning tomorrow, June 5, coaching staffs may be among the employees returning to your facility. As has been emphasized in previous advice on reopening facilities, this may occur only if your club has otherwise received necessary permission from state and local governments to reopen its facility.
“As stated in my memo of May 28, members of the coaching staff will count toward the maximum number of permissible club employees in the facility. Beginning tomorrow, clubs may increase the number of employees in the facility to a total of 100 subject again to state and local regulation and implementation of the protocols developed under the leaders of Dr. Sills.
“Coaches and other football staff, particularly those who may be in a higher risk category or who have concerns about their own health conditions, are expected to speak with the club medical staff or personal physician about any special precautions or other accommodations that may be appropriate for their particular circumstances. In addition, we will work with club medical staffs to implement a program of Covid-19 testing for the coaching staff and other football personnel prior to players returning to club facilities.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the league expects all teams, not including the San Francisco 49ers, to be in their facilities Friday. “The team is aware and supportive of the plan and has been in communication with its local authorities to obtain all necessary permissions when available,” he said.
This is just the beginning. The NFL must comply with local governments and its guidelines as they begin to reopen restaurants, movie theaters, bars, and other businesses.