Roger Goodell 'Hopeful' NFL Coaches Can Return to Facilities by Next Week

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - APRIL 23: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this still image from video provided by the NFL, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks from his home in Bronxville, New York during the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23, 2020. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters Thursday he's hopeful coaches can return to team facilities as early as next week.

However, Goodell added the league is extending the virtual offseason for another two weeks. The plan remains for the regular season to start Sept. 10.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he’s hopeful the NFL can bring coaches back into their facilities as early as next week. The league is also extending the virtual offseason by two weeks. But preparing for an on-time regular season (and adjusting if necessary).

The NFL reopened team facilities earlier this month, with only rehabbing players permitted to enter, provided the team was acting in accordance with state and local regulations. Coaching staffs were excluded so as to "ensure equity among all 32 clubs."

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson first reported Tuesday the NFL was looking to have coaches working out of their team offices by next week. Assuming that happens, minicamps would begin sometime between June 15 and June 27:

"One league source told Yahoo Sports that a declaration from California Gov. Gavin Newsom will serve as the key hurdle in whether the NFL can pull off a fully operational minicamp in June. If Newsom opens the way for full team operations (without any fan attendance), the league could then give NFL franchises the option of holding a minicamp sometime in June, before breaking once again and setting dates for the opening of training camps."

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the offseason.

The draft was conducted remotely, and team personnel couldn't meet with prospects after the NFL Scouting Combine. Interactions between general managers, coaches and prospective free agents were limited as well.

The general impact has so far been limited in comparison with other leagues, though. The NFL hasn't yet had to make any difficult decisions about delaying training camp, the preseason or the regular season.

Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, also indicated the league is operating under the belief it will be able to stage games with fans in attendance as well. It would change course if recommended to do so by medical experts.