Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson breaks down the reopening of full NFL operations in the face of COVID-19 restrictions, the NFL has notified teams that coaching staffs can return to facilities on Friday, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.
CHARLES ROBINSON: A memo was issued to 32 NFL teams on Thursday by the league office, essentially telling ownership groups, front offices, and coaching staffs that the cap allowed-- personnel cap allowed in NFL facilities would be raised to 100 persons, and that now coaching staffs would be allowed to return to NFL facilities starting on Friday. Now, interestingly, the San Francisco 49ers are not amongst that group. They're still working through some limitations from the local and state governments in terms of when that facility can open up. However, we're told that both the league office and the 49ers are working to get that opened as soon as possible and that the 49ers did not want to stand in the way of 31 other clubs across the United States opening up their facilities to coaching staffs.
Now, we move forward beyond this to what could potentially happen with players. Now, a couple of sources that Yahoo Sports spoke with had initially hoped to get a level of approval from the players union to potentially have players back on at least a voluntary basis either by June 15 or June 22. I'm now told that that is not as optimistic as what it once was-- that not only does it not appear that the NFLPA is going to be interested in allowing players to be invited back to facilities, but there still may actually be enough limitations in place by some local and state governments that would limit that in the first place.
So although coaching staffs will now return to the buildings and they can essentially start to lay out what do they want the remaining few weeks of the virtual offseason program to look like and then preparing for the eventual opening of training camps-- it does not appear now that players are an automatic to return, by any means, before the break, and then eventually training camp. The league office is expected to provide some guidance by this. We had two league sources tell us that the league office will likely provide guidance on the player front either Thursday or Friday or into early next week. So this should all be resolved fairly quickly. And the NFL can now shift forward toward looking at the opening of training camps in July or August.