NFL 'Closely Monitoring' Coronavirus Updates Ahead of Annual Meetings

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2020

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers a question during a news conference for the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Although the NFL hasn't altered any of its schedules yet, the league is paying attention to updates regarding the coronavirus worldwide.

"We are closely monitoring developments and have been in contact with The World Health Organization, CDC and the NFL-NFLPA medical experts at the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) Program for Infection Prevention," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. "We will continue those discussions throughout our offseason."

The league meetings are currently scheduled for March 29 to April 1 in Palm Beach, Florida, while the first round of the NFL draft is set for April 23 in Las Vegas.

Coronavirus is a respiratory disease that was first identified in China but has now spread around much of the world. According to CNN, there have been 85,000 worldwide cases of COVID-19 with 2,900 deaths as of Sunday.

Although there have been fewer confirmed cases in the United States, a Washington man died of the disease Saturday, per Dakin Andone, Jamie Gumbrecht and Michael Nedelman of CNN. 

If the outbreak continues to worsen, the NFL could be forced to reschedule or cancel heavily attended activities for the safety of everyone involved.

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The Grand Prix of Qatar was canceled Sunday due to travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus, and more sporting events could follow suit in the coming weeks and months.