The National Football League has been the one professional sports team throughout the COVID-19, coronavirus, situation which has not flinched when it comes to making decisions. While the NHL, NBA and MLB all waffle on their re-opening process, it was the NFL who went against the grain and kept their draft as scheduled.
It was the NFL who delayed the release of their schedule, but did so with their standard dates, not anything altered, yet.
And it is the NFL who has released a memo to all 32 NFL teams about them re-opening team facilities as early as May 19th.
Check out the details via Field Yates of ESPN:
Notes from the NFL's memo to teams about reopening:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 15, 2020
▪️ Facilities can reopen as soon as May 19th, if permitted to do so under state regulations
▪️No coaches are allowed
▪️Only players undergoing rehab or treatment are allowed
▪️A max of 50% of staffers (up to 75 people) total
The headline of this article may have some fans thinking coaches and players will be back in facilities, but they won’t. Not yet anyways. But just as the United States has started to re-open, it is done slowly. Facilities will not be open to coaches, but will be for 50% of their employees, and only players who are receiving treatment or rehabilitation can return at that time.
What really is the talking point throughout all of this is how the league has determined each team will have to rely on their local government to determine if they will be able to enter the re-opening process.
So, for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they will be fortunate their local area will be re-opening soon; however, on the opposite side of the state, Philadelphia, they remain in strict stay-at-home orders. Roger Goodell said during the 2020 NFL Draft teams won’t be practicing or returning until all teams are able, and this will be a difficult aspect of the re-opening process.
With California, New Jersey and New York looking as if there is no end in sight for their lock down, will teams head to neutral sites to start the re-opening process? That is to be determined, but at least the NFL is taking the initiative and getting the ball rolling.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2020 regular season.