This post will be updated as more information becomes available. The original version of this story continues after the break.
The coronavirus outbreak, which began in China, keeps evolving at a dizzying speed. With the global case toll rising steeply (more than 127,000 as of March 12), the United States is far from immune — and that’s led to indefinite cancellations of concerts, public events, and major professional sports leagues including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer.
We will be tracking live updates relating to the NFL the Jacksonville Jaguars in this story.
If you need any information about the coronavirus, visit a trusted source like CDC.gov or the website of your local city government.
Will free agency still happen?
The latest news is that the NFL is “contemplating” delaying the 2020 league year, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Per a league source, the NFL currently is contemplating the possibility of announcing on Sunday a delay in the start of free agency. The league wants to wait until after voting on the CBA closes before making a final decision, in order to prevent further delays to the CBA voting process.
What about the 2020 NFL Draft?
There are social distancing solutions to free agency. The NFL Draft? Not so much.
Although there’s still some time to mull it over, teams would be using this time to schedule individual workouts and physicals. How will that work if commercial flights start to decline in operations?
Two notes:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2020
— The NFL has not cancelled any pre-draft visits or workouts. That’s at a team’s discretion.
— The biggest issue for free agency may be getting players physicals. Every year, there is 1 or 2 players who fail, but how does a team ask them to get on a commercial flight?
Like free agency, nothing has been formally announced as of yet — but I’d be surprised if something doesn’t happen in regards to the 2020 NFL Draft.
Will the 2020 annual meeting happen?
No. The NFL announced today that the annual meeting to be hosted later this month has been cancelled.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell notified the clubs today that after careful consideration and consultation with medical experts, the NFL’s annual meeting scheduled for March 29-April 1 has been canceled.
There will be full consideration and votes on any open football issues, including playing rules, bylaws, and resolutions, as well as other business matters that were on the agenda for the Annual Meeting, at the Spring meeting scheduled for May 19-20. Most of the first day will be dedicated to football-related issues. Head coaches and general managers will participate in the meeting.
This decision was made consistent with the league’s primary concern to protect the health of club and league employees and the public while enabling the league to continue with its essential business operations.
We will continue to closely monitor developments, consult with leading experts, and be prepared to make any changes necessary as circumstances warrant.
Are the Jaguars taking precautions?
Yes. The Jaguars released a statement on Thursday saying that traveling team personnel have been instructed to return to their families with employees being encouraged to work from home.
The Jaguars and Bold Events are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our staff and the community amidst the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. Both organizations are following the guidance of government officials and health organizations to implement a plan for all employees. Traveling team personnel have been instructed to return to their families and, while the Jaguars and Bold Events remain open for business, employees have been encouraged to work from home if possible for the time being.
Private events, concerts at Daily’s Place and fan events are being carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis. While the situation remains fluid, the Jaguars will continue to communicate with fans, ticket purchasers and media regarding any updates about the team and events at TIAA Bank Field and Daily’s Place. The Jaguars and Bold Events encourage all northeast Florida residents to take the proper precautions and follow best practices as recommended by the CDC.
For more information regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please go to CDC.gov and WHO.int.