NFL Teams to Shut Down Facilities for at Least 2 Weeks Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

All NFL teams will be taking a "break" for the next two weeks. League commissioner Roger Goodell issued a memo to the 32 teams informing them to close their facilities with limited expectations by 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday. This is all in part of the league helping to stop the spread of coronavirus, which is now a pandemic.

Adam Schefter of ESPN shared the memo on Twitter, which revealed the following people who can be allowed inside the team facilities after the deadline. The people who are allowed are:

  • Employees (such as athletic trainers or physicians) who are providing ongoing medical treatment to players.
  • Employees (such as the director of facilities, security personnel or independent contractors) necessary to maintain the physical security of the facility and its contents.
  • Employees (such as technology personnel) necessary to maintain the security and operational capabilities of the club's IT network to enable remote work by club football and business staff.

The facilities are scheduled to remain closed until April 8, which is when the league will re-evaluate the situation with medical experts. Despite the facilities being closed, NFL teams can still continue their business when it comes to signing free agents and evaluating players for the upcoming draft.

"The challenges we face are not unique -- many businesses and individuals throughout the country are experiencing and addressing similar issues," Goodell wrote in the memo. "Please be assured that the NFL is well-positioned to meet these operational challenges as we prepare to offer our fans and the country an outstanding 2020 NFL season."

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As of this writing, the draft is still scheduled for April 23 to 25. However, the draft activities in Las Vegas have been canceled and it's likely the selection process will take place in a different location. There are some general managers who want the draft to be pushed back due to everything that's going on.

"I think a lot of owners aren't sold on keeping it on schedule," a league source told ESPN. "Of course the power owners are calling the shots. Plus, add to the fact that April is going to be the toughest month with this virus. It's really a poor look."

There are no players who have contracted coronavirus at this point. However, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton tested positive for the disease but he's expected to make a full recovery.