At least NFL teams have a little bit of time to get used to the protocols set forth by the league for fully reopening facilities.
Because it will take a while to get used to.
The NFL sent a memo to teams on Monday outlining protocols for reopening amid the coronavirus. Coaches are now allowed to be in team facilities, as long as it is allowed by the local government. Players will return soon too.
When they return, it’ll be different.
Locker rooms will have to change
The first point in the memo that drew widespread attention was that the NFL asked teams to reconfigure their locker rooms to provide six feet between lockers, in accordance with distancing guidelines (the memo is via Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports).
In a joint NFL-NFLPA memo to clubs, teams will, among other things, be required to have 6 feet of space between lockers upon re-opening pic.twitter.com/z7eVvhs9fQ— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) June 8, 2020
Anyone who has been in an NFL locker room immediately understands the difficulty of abiding by this guideline. Locker rooms aren’t built with extra space available. It gets much more difficult when there are 90 players on the roster during training camp and preseason.
Teams might have to practically create a second locker room to accommodate that guideline. In many locker rooms, there’s no realistic way to simply vacate half the lockers and still have room for 53 players.
But teams will have to figure out a way.
NFL encourages virtual meetings
The other interesting part of the memo had to do with meetings.
Meetings are endless in the NFL. There are team meetings and position meetings all week. Those will change.
The NFL wants teams to still do virtual meetings when possible. And if in-person meetings are necessary, the memo said, they are to be held outdoors with “participants sitting apart from one another and wearing masks.” If this continues through the season, those outdoor quarterback meetings in Green Bay will get really interesting come November and December.
There are other points, such as teams cleaning the facility, and strength and conditioning sessions having limited players included.
Everyone is adjusting to new guidelines amid the coronavirus. NFL players will realize that when they return to work.
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