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The Next Steps For Players' Eventual Return


Due to the nation's COVID-19 crisis, offseason programs around the league are still in virtual mode through at least this week. But the NFL and the NFLPA have announced requirements for each team to eventually bring players back into their facilities.

In a memo published by NFL Media on Monday, the league outlines protocols for the players' return. Among them:

  • Three tiers of club staff members are granted access to restricted areas within the building. Tier One will include "players and necessary personnel who must have direct access to the players"; Tier Two is essential personnel who "may need to be in close proximity to players"; Tier Three includes individuals who perform essential facility, stadium or event services but do not require close contact with Tier 1 Individuals."
  • Requirements for facility and equipment cleaning are outlined, as well as requirements for food service within the building.
  • A comprehensive set physical distancing requirements. Players and staff must be able to maintain at least six feet of distance from each other inside the building. Locker rooms must be reconfigured to allow this distance between players. No more than 15 players conducting strength and conditioning workouts together at one time. Meetings must be virtual "to the extent possible," with physical distancing requirements for any in-person meeting.
  • An infectious disease emergency response plan in the event of an outbreak must be approved at the league level with input from medical expertise.

More information about these protocols can be found here.

Head coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff are eligible to return to The Star in Frisco as of last Friday, but for now, non-rehabbing players around the league are not yet permitted to be back in the building. That return date isn't known yet. June 26 is the league's deadline for teams to complete their offseason programs.