One of the biggest questions fans have across the league is when the NFL will resume operations for the 2020 season. The league sent out memos to all 32 teams outlining steps to take for organizations to resume activities during the coronavirus. League spokesman Brian McCarthy stated that teams would have to lean on their local governments for when they can begin to reopen their headquarters. The protocols laid out have to be in place by May 15, this Friday:
This memo outlines the actions clubs will take to have the protocols in place by May 15. After that time, clubs will be advised when facilities could formally reopen. These steps include the clubs reviewing their plans with the appropriate state and local officials. It’s anticipated there will be further discussion on the reopening of facilities at the May 19 league owners’ virtual meeting.
Not every state has reopened, and some of those states are still under strict guidelines. California Governor Gavin Newsom is on record saying there may not be any live sporting events in the state this year. Pro Football talk suggested the San Francisco 49ers play their home games in Arizona.
The risk is greater than those directly involved with the 49ers. Non-player personnel is of concern because they would be a part of the first phase of any reopening across the league. Those phases include protocols such as wearing face masks and adhering to strict screening methods before you’re allowed to enter the building. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the protocols:
“The protocols are intended to allow for a safe and phased reopening. The first phase would involve several non-player personnel. No players would be permitted in the facility except to continue a course of therapy and rehabilitation that was underway when facilities were initially closed.”
The league can do whatever they want as far as putting rules and protocols into place. That’s not going to take away the uncertainty that’s in the near future. As Goodell said, “It is impossible to project what the next few months will bring.”