New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: Sports Teams Can Begin Training Amid COVID-19

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 26, 2020

An empty MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is seen from the air on Monday, April 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
Ted Shaffrey/Associated Press

New Jersey has become the latest state that will allow sports teams to begin training again amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Tuesday, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy announced professional teams in the state can open training camp "if leagues choose to move in that direction" and as long as they follow necessary health and safety protocols:

Governor Phil Murphy @GovMurphy

UPDATE: Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition – if their leagues choose to move in that direction. We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel. https://t.co/yMrCFtSyqY

A spokesperson for the New York Jets told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport the team is working with Governor Murphy, the NFL and medical doctors "to establish prudent, health and safety measures for our staff and players. Based on those guidelines, we will begin to open our facility using a phased approach at a time that is most practical for our operations."

The New York Giants also issued a statement saying they plan to begin reopening team facilities next week:

Kimberly Jones @KimJonesSports

From #NYG: “Gov. Murphy and his administration continue to guide New Jerseyans through this very difficult time. We have been in close contact with Gov. Murphy’s staff to comply with the state’s protocols throughout.

Kimberly Jones @KimJonesSports

For employees who need to return to work at our facility, we expect to begin that process next week, and we will do so in a systematic and safe way that adheres to the state’s guidelines and NFL protocols.” #Giants

Murphy's announcement comes after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters on Sunday that sports teams in the state will be allowed to begin practices. 

The Brooklyn Nets said in a statement (h/t Joseph Spector of LoHud.com) after Cuomo's announcement that they will open their training center on Tuesday for voluntary player workouts. 

Professional sports teams in New Jersey include the Jets and Giants in the NFL, New Jersey Devils in the NHL and New York Red Bulls in the MLS. 

The NFL's virtual offseason is scheduled to run through at least May 29 to guard against the spread of the coronavirus. The MLS season has been suspended until at least June 8. 

Even though the NHL Players Association approved a 24-team playoff format Friday if play resumes, there remains no set timetable for the season to restart.