It looks as if the coronavirus pandemic is now stopping the NFL.
The NFL’s general manager subcommittee on Tuesday recommended to commissioner Roger Goodell that the league push back the draft, according to ESPN.
Perhaps that recommendation was the impetus for this Goodell move: According to NFL network, the commissioner sent a memo to the teams on Tuesday, saying all club facilities will close at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with limited exceptions, sources told the website. According to the report, the league will reassess April 8 with advice from experts.
The limited exceptions, according to ESPN, include trainers and physicians who are working with athletes and security and IT personnel. Goodell said the NFL’s competition committee reviewed the directives, and that they “will remain in effect until further notice,” according to the report.
The NFL had planned on holding the draft from April 23-25, and though the dates haven’t changed yet, the facility shutdown could change that timeline.
The NFL already had said the draft would be held without fans and would be held in a studio instead of in Las Vegas.
According to the ESPN report, GMs were concerned that there wouldn’t be time for player physicals, psychological tests and other necessary player-vetting procedures. With the closing of all team’s facilities, those issues will become even more challenging, increasing the likelihood of a delay to the draft.
Before the league-wide team-facility lockdown, league sources also told the website that it would cause some teams whose facilities were locked down to be at a competitive disadvantage to the other teams whose sites were up and running.
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