NFL Issues Memo Saying Team Facilities Will Close March 25 Amid COVID-19

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2020

The 100th anniversary logo is shown above the NFL shield before an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The NFL is closing all its team facilities due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 teams saying facilities will close—outside of limited exceptions—Wednesday evening until April 8 when the league will reassess the situation. The memo said teams can continue conducting offseason business such as signing free agents.

ESPN's Adam Schefter shared the memo on Twitter: 

Pelissero noted this won't be much of an adjustment for some teams that have already closed facilities or others who have limited personnel inside their buildings.

This comes after Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported Monday that NFL officials are "increasingly pessimistic about salvaging any of their teams' offseason programs for players and are wary of disruptions that would accompany the opening of training camps this summer."

Maske noted there is still plenty of optimism within the league that the regular season will continue as scheduled since it doesn't start until September, but the NFL already canceled the annual league meeting and postponed teams' offseason programs indefinitely.

Additionally, April's NFL draft will no longer allow fans to attend in Las Vegas and will instead be conducted as a television event.

Free agency has largely continued outside of travel and visit restrictions, but many of the other aspects of the league's offseason to this point have changed. Maske also pointed out there is concern about competitive fairness with regard to July's training camps because some teams may have to pause operations due to a positive test.

Part of the memo Goodell sent out Tuesday explained that team facilities were closing in part "to ensure that all clubs operate on a level playing field."

The NFL may need to do something similar when training camps begin in the summer depending on the status of the coronavirus pandemic at that time.

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