The Green Bay Packers are beginning their preparations for the 2020 NFL season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When players arrived for the start of training camp, they were greeted by a redesigned locker room with changes that could be crucial for a full season of football.
When the coronavirus first started sweeping across the United States, the NFL created strict social distancing guidelines for teams to follow this year. Under the new policies, social distancing is mandatory with the league requiring teams to take every measure to increase the safety of players and coaches.
The Packers are taking a similar approach to the Detroit Lions, who unveiled their updated locker room on Wednesday, installing plexiglass barriers to keep players more separated.
After weeks of negotiations with the NFL Players Association, the NFL is committing to expansive testing this year. The league will spend a staggering amount on COVID-19 tests with every player being tested daily for the virus in the first two weeks.
Beyond that, the NFL is suggesting each team follow a virtual bubble with players strongly encouraged not to go out during the season. Any player who commits high-risk conduct could be in jeopardy of losing their salary this year and causing their team to suffer in the standings.
The Packers have started testing rookies and they are allowed to enter the team’s facility once they receive three negative COVID-19 tests. While it will be an adjustment for players to get used to these plexiglass barriers, it should help decrease the spread of the coronavirus.