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NFL to allow teams to reopen facilities next week if protocols met

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said team facilities can begin reopening Tuesday, although coaches and non-rehabbing players still won't be permitted. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said team facilities can begin reopening Tuesday, although coaches and non-rehabbing players still won't be permitted. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

May 15 (UPI) -- NFL team facilities will be allowed to reopen next week if clubs meet certain protocols and have permission under state and local regulations.

In a memo sent to all 32 teams Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote that clubs could begin reopening their facilities starting Tuesday, provided they do so under "governing state and local regulations, are in compliance with additional public health requirements in their jurisdiction, and have implemented the protocols that were developed by [NFL chief medical officer] Dr. [Allen] Sills and distributed to all clubs on May 6."

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Goodell sent out a memo to all NFL clubs May 6 and laid out protocols on how facilities can reopen, which includes consent from state government officials and the establishment of other safety measures by each team.

NFL teams that are not ready or permitted to reopen Tuesday can do so as soon as they meet the preestablished criteria, according to the league.

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The first group of team employees permitted to return to facilities would include no more than 50 percent of non-player staff, up to a total of 75 each day. According to the memo, the only players allowed to return would be those who were rehabilitating injuries before closures, and no coaching staff members are allowed in facilities.

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"This first phase of reopening is an important step in demonstrating our ability to operate safely and effectively, even in the current environment," Goodell wrote.

"After we implement this first phase, and as more states and localities enact policies that allow more club facilities to reopen, I expect that additional staff, likely including coaching staff, will be allowed to return to club facilities in a relatively short time."

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NFL team facilities have been closed since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league previously set a deadline of Friday for clubs to be ready to implement the first phase of protocols for reopening facilities.

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