Coaches are back, but when could NFL players be return to team facilities? | Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast

Yahoo Sports senior NFL writers Charles Robinson and Terez Paylor explain how the NFL will start to roll out policies for coaches and players to return to team facilities.

Video Transcript


TEREZ PAYLOR: As you reported last week, coaching staffs are allowed to return to NFL buildings tomorrow. You had the story. People confirmed it this week. Tell our listeners about it, man.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, so the league office sent a memo to every team saying, you know, hey, guess what, other than San Francisco, everybody's able to get their coaching staffs in if you want. We're not mandating it. It's up to you. There's going to be a 100-person cap on your individual facilities. And that obviously might have to be augmented depending on what locality you're in, what your local government rules are. But as a league, we are opening it up to allow coaches to go back.

The league and the 49ers are working right now to also get their facility in Santa Clara open so that they can get coaches in. From what I was told, the 49ers didn't want to stand in the way of 31 other teams. They wanted to go ahead and let everybody get moving.

I think what's interesting though is I had a chance to talk to a couple sources. And I said, OK what's on the agenda for the players. And essentially what I was told was-- and Adam Schefter had mentioned this I think a day or two ago, that, you know, the optimism is fading a bit in terms of getting players in. And that's for a couple of different reasons.

The fact that the union has not even come remotely close to wanting to approach talking about getting players back into facility is part of it. I think that state governments, frankly, some of them have some things on their hands right now that they're dealing with. With the things that are going on as far as the protests across the country, I think that's given some state governments some additional things to think about.

All of that is weighing. And what I was told was-- you know, I had a couple of league sources tell me there would be guidance from the NFL likely by Friday if not by Monday. My guess is now, considering how the optimism definitely seems to be pulling back, they're probably going to sit there and go, you know what, we're just going to have to go into the break with the virtual program and then deal with the, you know, training camp being when everybody shows up.

So I would say for fans of the NFL, it's probably a split win because at the very least, you get coaches back in the building. And they're going to start preparing for what training camp. You know, they're going to be able to talk to each other in a room, organize, dial in the roster together, do some of the more traditional things inside the building and then prepare for training camp. But you're likely not getting any players back into the building before at least July.

TEREZ PAYLOR: You know, and it's interesting because you're seeing reports of college players come back to school. And you're already starting to see, hey, five guys tested positive for COVID. They were asymptomatic. Like--

CHARLES ROBINSON: Alabama, right? I saw that.


CHARLES ROBINSON: Alabama, guys, right?

TEREZ PAYLOR: Yeah, but there were a few other schools too. Like, guys, you know, come on. Like, they got-- like, players are going to have this. And this is something the league is going to have to deal with. This is a new normal for the league, dealing with players who are asymptomatic but have it. Like, what are you going to do? Like, that's just-- that's just part of the deal here.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I know the key-- you know, when you talk to teams, they tell you the key is all-- it's all going to be testing. How quickly can you diagnose whether players are-- are healthy or not? And-- and what I was told was, you know, a lot of this is going to hinge on is it going to be an antibody test, is it going to be-- is taking temperatures enough? Is it-- you know, it's-- it's--

We're going to have to do this every day with everybody that comes in. And I cannot possibly tell you what this is going to end up looking like because I think a lot of teams really fully understand what this is going to look like, which is why, frankly, if you asked me, I would be-- I would be surprised if we open training camps on time. Like, I just-- really, we're going to actually open these on time? That's going to happen?


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