NFL coaches could return to team facilities next week

NFL coaches could be back in team facilities next week.

On Tuesday, teams in areas where stay at home orders due to COVID-19 had expired began the gradual reopening of facilities after being shut for the last two months, but it was limited to non-field employees. In a memo sent Thursday to clubs following the NFL’s virtual spring meetings, commissioner Roger Goodell laid out plans for the next phase of that gradual reopening, including when on-field personnel could get back in.

“We expect that next week clubs will be permitted to include members of their coaching staffs among the employees permitted to resume work in the club facility,” Goodell wrote. “We are actively working with Governors and other state and local authorities in those states that have not yet announced definitive plans and will confirm the precise date on which coaches can return to the facility as soon as possible.”

Goodell made the point that all 32 facilities must be open before any coaches are allowed in.

The commissioner also announced the extension of the virtual offseason program for at least another two weeks. It had been sent to expire on Friday. But Goodell also said there are efforts to get players back in the building before June 26, which marks the end of the offseason program.

“We are also continuing to work with the NFLPA on developing protocols that will allow at least some players to return to your facilities on a limited basis prior to the conclusion of the offseason program,” Goodell wrote. “We expect to begin sharing agreed-upon protocols and additional information very soon.”

The second phase on the plan will also allow teams to reopen ticket offices, retail shops and other customer-facing facilities.