NFL team facilities will be eligible to reopen Tuesday but will still be off-limits to coaches and players who are not there for medical rehabilitation.
Teams will only be allowed to reopen facilities if it is allowed by state and local restrictions for containing the spread of the coronavirus, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shared in a memo Friday.
While the move is a step toward starting the 2020 season on time, the continued restrictions on players and coaches indicate the league still has a long way to go.
“This first phase of reopening is an important step in demonstrating our ability to operate safely and effectively, even in the current environment,” the memo said (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Media).
Clubs are allowed to have a maximum of half their normal staff return to their facilities, but no more than 75 total employees.
Teams will be able to elect which personnel can return to work but will have to follow health guidelines outlined by the NFL last week.
The memo mentioned that coaches may be returning to their workplace “in a relatively short time” and said that the league is working with the players association to develop a plan where players could start training together “as early as next month.”
The NFL released its schedule May 7, with a targeted opening game on Sept. 10. The league has been insistent that it plans to start its season on time despite the COVID-19 outbreak.