As NFL teams map out their gradual return to facilities for training, a set of safety protocols has been outlined for them to follow.
League commissioner Roger Goodell has issued a memo to all NFL franchises detailing the steps they are to take as players and personnel begin to reconvene this summer. The memo, which was obtained and shared by the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, covers the bases of physical distancing, disinfecting and other hygienic measures.
“While these protocols have been carefully developed and are based on the most current information from leading experts, no set of protocols can eliminate the risk of contracting Covid-19, nor ensure that the disease itself will be mild,” Goodell wrote. “And we should expect that these protocols will change as the medical and scientific knowledge of this disease continues to grow. But we believe, along with the NFLPA, that these protocols offer a sound basis for bringing players back into the facilities and moving forward with our planning for the 2020 season.”
All team players and personnel entering a facility must wear a face mask with the only exception being if there is an interference with the performance of athletic activity. Additionally, all football equipment such as helmets and pads must be disinfected after each use while distancing of at least six feet is to be maintained by those within the facility, including locker room space.
“All clubs should begin promptly to acquire the necessary cleaning, protective, and other material necessary to implement these protocols and work with your vendors (food service, maintenance, travel, and others) to ensure that they are informed of the requirements that relate to their operations and obtain the necessary assurances that those vendors can meet those requirements,” Goodell continued.
Team facilities are to undergo a deep clean prior to reopening, with the league ordering that buildings be closed for a period of 48 hours to conduct such cleanings.
The league is planning on going forward with its 2020 season with modifications as necessary, though games are expected to have fans in attendance. The season is slated to kick off Thursday, September 10 in Kansas City when the Chiefs take on the Texans.