Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday following a virtual owners meeting that coaching staffs are expected to be allowed back in team facilities next week for the first time since the March 24 shutdown under coronavirus restrictions. Non-injured players remain prohibited from returning.
Facilities in states where it is permitted by the government, including New Jersey and New York, already are open to some team employees.
The league still hopes to bring back coaches for all 32 teams simultaneously to maintain “competitive equity” and is in contact with state and local government authorities to confirm a plan for reopening in closed states.
“This offseason has looked a lot different than it has in the past,” Goodell told reporters, “but we’re proud that key activities … have demonstrated we can operate in new and innovative ways so we are prepared for the 2020 season.”
Virtual meetings and workouts were extended by two weeks into mid-June, rendering it unlikely mandatory June minicamps will be held in person.
“We will continue to work with the NFLPA and our medical experts to ensure we are doing everything to ensure a safe return for our players,” Goodell said, “not only to the facilities but to training camps, for preseason games and, of course, the start of the regular season. That’s the highest priority we have.”