NFL orders all facilities to close next Monday and Tuesday

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In anticipation of the expected spike in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving weekend, the NFL has issued a mandate for next week: All facilities will close on Monday and Tuesday.

“In response to the continuous increase in positivity rates throughout the country, as well as our understanding that a number of players and staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with out-of-town guests, all in-person team activities on Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1 will be prohibited,” Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to all teams in a Friday memo, a copy of which PFT has obtained.

This prohibition won’t apply to clubs participating in games on Monday and Tuesday. And it won’t affect the preparation of teams playing next Thursday, because next Thursday’s game between the Cowboys and Ravens already has been moved to the following Monday, given the postponement of the Ravens-Steelers game to Tuesday.

“All activities must be conducted virtually [on Monday and Tuesday], with the exception of essential medical treatment and rehabilitation under the supervision of a team physician or athletic trainer,” Goodell explained. “Medical staff and players must continue to comply with the rules outlined in the intensive protocol. Further, players and staff should be reminded that gatherings of any sort outside of the facility are prohibited.”

The memo also points out that the NFL Players Association “has instructed its members to alert your club’s Infection Control Officer if they had guests over the last several days so that you may consider additional Mesa POC testing for those players when your facility reopens.”

Whether that’s enough to slow the spread of the virus remains to be seen. Players who have have caught COVID-19 from out-of-town guests could be shedding virus on Sunday, with a positive sample given Sunday morning not being tested and returned until after the game. That’s one of the factors that contributed to the outbreak in Baltimore.

Regardless, it’s good to see the league doing more to enhance the ability to play all 256 regular-season games within the originally-scheduled 17 weeks. At some point (at that point may already have arrived), the best move will be to put all teams in hotels, creating home-market bubbles through the conclusion of the regular season (five weeks away) and the completion of the postseason.

30 responses to “NFL orders all facilities to close next Monday and Tuesday

  1. It’s putting a band aid on a shotgun blast. The NFL needs to go bubble or give up the season. They can only dance this dance so long but if they wait too long to do the right thing it will GAMES OVER. I don’t think Goodell has any idea what to do. Maybe he’ll wait till a player dies.

  2. I know that lots of people object to things being shut down because of the virus.
    I would like to see some ideas on alternatives to this problem.

  3. Should have been done this week. Ban players from any family gatherings. I know it’s a tough decision but these are tough times. Not having Thanksgiving this year is nothing to contributing to another COVID outbreak.

  4. But everything will be open on Wednesday, right Roger! Gotta keep your cash machine rolling. Undectable incubation period be damned.

  5. At least the league can divert attention off of the lack of accountability of the refs who still have the abilty to determine the outcome of games. Especially calls or lack of calls on PI and defensive holding. See Rams placement in a recent Superbowl on an a very, very, very, obvious, obvious, obvious NO CALL. The abilty to correct this is readilty available. Why else would no attempt me made to correct such calls? CONTROL

  6. “Roger Goodell: “You will close all facilities on Monday and Tuesday because we value your safety and health above all. Unless of course the league stands to lose millions in potential broadcast revenue, in that case you will remain open. Or unless you are going to play Thursday, which could also impact our league revenue. And this is not the Ravens fault so they won’t be punished in any way, just shut up about that. The have a cool owner. And don’t bring that 49er thing up either, because their owner ain’t cool.”

  7. Its nice to see the NFL be proactive instead of reactive. Now if we could see some consistentcy with the NFL that would be nice.

  8. The NFL should suspend the regular season immediately and restart in mid January in a bubble scenario like the NBA, its the common sense thing to do at this point!

  9. they have to close, except for Roger’s fav’s the steelers and ravens. They get to play a game. Its all fixed.

  10. How about postpone or cancel the season? Some teams have been devastated by covid and injuries while other teams have not and, not coincidentally, are doing better win rate wise.

  11. Well, the Browns have a winning season, so Murphy’s Law says the season will be cancelled. I’m a Browns fan and realize that the Browns are cursed! 2020 is the worst

  12. I appreciate the effort to give us football, but the season is a joke. I can’t take what happens seriously. It’s like watching a daytime soap. I hope no one sets any records this season.

  13. The NFL is now deep in it. I guess the raiders get their money and draft pick back.

    The Raiders were repeat offenders. They were warned and they brazenly violated protocols. Moreover, they were potential spreaders by throwing a gala party with no masks or social distancing. The raoders should have been fined more.

  14. Publicity stunt because, science. Those two days will have zero effect on preventing the spread of the infection. Is the NFL aware of the incubation times?

  15. I don’t think some here understand that the NFL “bubble”, if done, will not be like the NBA bubble where all the games will be played in one city.

    The NFL “bubble” would mean the games will still be played in all of the teams stadiums just like they are now. The only difference is that the players would all stay in hotels 7 days a week rather than just the night before the game like is done now, and always has been done.

    I do not know the following as fact as of now, but I do believe a limited number of fans would still be allowed in attendance in those stadiums that are allowing that now and may down the stretch here.

  16. It’s putting a band aid on a shotgun blast. The NFL needs to go bubble or give up the season. They can only dance this dance so long but if they wait too long to do the right thing it will GAMES OVER. I don’t think Goodell has any idea what to do. Maybe he’ll wait till a player dies.”””””

    First you were the one saying all summer there will never be an NFL season. Than that happened now you are Saying there won’t be an NFL if they don’t go to a bubble. No offense you sound like the high school cheerleader in the locker room talking about the size of Johnny the star QB junk. You are obsessed.

    There won’t be a bubble.

  17. How about this?

    The players who test positive are isolated. If they test positive a second time they quarantine for at least 10 days.

    Stop manufacturing a crisis by saying “all running backs must quarantine if one tests positive” and similar guidelines for other positions. The team is all right next to each in the locker room, at practice, during the pregame speech, after a big play etc. So that logic makes no sense.

    We are never going to get past this if we overreact to every single instance of healthy people getting it.

  18. As they say hind sight is 20-20 but here goes. The NFL has the best information money can buy. A resurgence of the virus was happening around the world and predicted here. So now we are in the midst of the resurgence and hospital capacity is being stressed to the max. Is it really responsible to continue to play football? The Ravens situation got worse because of the NFL not shutting them down because they were trying to force the Thursday night game regardless of the quality of play. The idiocy should stop and play should be suspended and a new plan formulated. How many of the players are willing to get vaccinated or tested for anti-bodies? Finally I do not believe the NFL and NCAA that there are no cases of transmission between players on the field. That defies common sense as they are in close contact, breathing hard and exchanging sweat and breath. No they do not want to know since that would be the end of play. There are two vaccines close to approval and distribution. Play should be suspended until a plan is developed so that the players can congregate safely to practice and play with a minimum of risk. The plan may include anti-body tests, vaccination and bubble format. Anything is better then the current plan that is going to get somebody killed.

  19. Look at teams that have had zero players test positive and follow their example if there are any that meet the criteria.

  20. The Eagles, especially Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson are HOPING that the rest of the season gets cancelled!

  21. Amazing how many people here crying about how their team has been “devastated”. It’s just football. Settle down. Players can/could opt out. Same for other people I am sure. The NFL has had less of outbreaks than overall society. A lot of you complaining are most likely not following full protocols either.

  22. How does closing the facilities help? Think it probably hurts especially if the players dont stay home and go out and about. That is where you get it – if you dont mask up and you go out in places where others dont mask up. It would be a lot more beneficial to ensure that they just insist on players and staff all wear masks and that they can come in for treatment with only a limited number of players at any one time.

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