Some NFL teams started reopening their facilities to an extent on Tuesday under strict protocols during the ongoing pandemic.
While this is a big first step, there’s still a lot of work to do. Primarily, getting actual players back at team facilities. As of right now, that has not happened.
In a conference call with the media on Tuesday, NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills indicated that there’s no timeline for players to return to their team facilities. He noted it’s going to be all about testing capacity.
When asked whether minicamps will go on as scheduled in June, Sills said “we’re not putting dates on a calendar.
At this point, it seems to be a safe bet that minicamps will not be taking place next month. Heck, training camp and the start of the preseason slate are both in question right now.
Sills did admit that there’s a strong likelihood positive tests will be the end result once team facilities open up and the season gets going. The process has to be to identify the positive tests and help prevent the spread of the virus to other players.
For this, the NFL is looking at other sports both domestically and abroad. It’s no different from the NBA and its plans to resume a 2019-20 season that has been suspended since March 11.
The NFL is said to be experimenting with the possibility of utilizing a face mask that would help prevent the spread of the virus. That’s one of the under-the-radar things being worked on behind the scenes.
But it’s going to be all about testing and tracing. Until this becomes readily available to the public, the NFL is not going to use up testing resources.
The good news here is that the United States continues to see a daily uptick in tests nationwide. That’s also a trend in the right direction.