Memo: Coaches Among NFL Staff Allowed to Return to Facilities

Jordan Cohn
June 04, 2020 - 11:51 am

Progress is being made, slowly but surely, in preparing for the 2020 NFL season.

In a memo sent around the NFL on Thursday, the league informed teams that "coaching staffs may be among the employees returning" to facilities as they begin to reopen, so long as state and local governments have authorized and permitted teams to do so.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network shared a larger portion of the memo on Twitter, which included the above snippet as well as additional information regarding the return of faculty to facilities. Dr. Allen Sills, the chief medical officer of the NFL, was responsible for developing health and safety protocols for a proper, relatively low-risk return to team buildings, and the memo further indicates that the number of staff members allowed at the facilities has increased to 100. Again, all of this is still permitted to occur only if the greater state and local governments allow it.

Field Yates added another note regarding players going to facilities at this time.

Sills spoke with Adam Schefter of ESPN about older coaches specifically, including names like Bill Belichick, who just turned 68.

"We certainly are aware of that because you articulated a really key issue, which is that in thinking about risk here this isn't just about players only but it is about coaches, and medical staff, and support staff, and the people who we determine are going to be in the team's ecosystem," Sills said on The Adam Schefter Podcast. "If that whole group is going to share these risks... there certainly seems to be an age vulnerability, there's certain disproportionate share of African Americans who have been exposed and affected by the virus. There are a lot of those factors that we have to consider.

"You're absolutely right that those are things that we have to factor into our decision making. We know they're of concern to those individuals."

Sill acknowledges the fact that any sort of return makes a zero-risk plan of action impossible.

"We expect that there will be new positive cases that will crop up through the course of the season, and that's despite everyone doing their part and all the best intent of everyone involved," Sills said.

Outside of just government authorization that may affect some teams' chances at a return to their facilities, there are some teams who just don't appear as willing to take the risk. The Jets, for example, are opting to skip minicamp even if it is allowed at some point, according to Brian Costello of The New York Post.