Earlier today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed a memo sent to all 32 NFL teams in regards to coaches returning to team facilities, beginning tomorrow, June 5th.
This comes just a week after the NFL allowed all auxiliary staff members to return to team facilities, including football operations, strength and conditioning, strength and conditioning, athletic training, equipment, facility management and technology.
When facilities re-opened, a maximum of 75 staff members are allowed in the facility and no more than 50% of the football staff was allowed under very strict guidelines and social distancing due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
Released in the memo, Goodell states:
“This will advice 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 to a total of 100 subject again to state and local regulation and implementation of the protocols developed under the leadership 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.
In speaking to reporters last week, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone spoke at length regarding the potential for coaches to return, however, cautioning that the process needs to take place, everything must be set up, and it must be in fairness to the players who are still not permitted to enter facilities.
“I think that it’s difficult if the staff goes in there, there’s nothing that we’re doing right now that we couldn’t do if we were all just in the building,” Marrone said. “The thing about being in the building is are the players in the building? I think that’s the key thing. I think right now the one thing we’re missing, we’re getting everything done, is the ability to be with our players. When they tell us that it’s safe and competitive equality comes into place, we’ll be ready to go.”
When the Jaguars establish the start for coaches to return to facilities, coaches can begin to get into the day-to-day duties of what a typical meeting setting would be like, being able to also establish how they will conduct themselves considering social distancing. As of right now, employees are to adhere to strict social distancing, along with wearing masks throughout the facility.
Marrone would also like to have everything back in place and ready to go for when the players are able to return to the facility.
“One of the things that I’ve been doing in our virtual team meetings is I’ve explained to the players. I’ve given them all the information that I have, but to tell them, ‘Hey, listen, let’s make sure we understand that it’s going to be different whenever we come back.’ My goal is to keep informing the players of the procedures and what we’re trying to get done so that when they do come back, their focus isn’t going to be on how we’re eating, how is the locker room, all the things that we have to do to keep each other safe. Their focus can be on what we have to do to win football games.”