The NFL decided to close all team facilities on Monday and Tuesday in an attempt to contain what they believe will be a significant spike in coronavirus cases after players and staff spent time with family members from out of town over the Thanksgiving holiday.
In a memo obtained by Pro Football Talk, Commissioner Roger Goodell instructed the league’s 32 teams to work virtually on Monday and Tuesday, and, that any team gatherings outside of the facility were “prohibited.”
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.
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. 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.
As Pro Football Talk points out, the league’s temporary work stoppage will not apply to all teams.
“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.”
The Ravens, whose games against the Steelers and Cowboys have already been moved twice, have over a dozen players and staff currently infected or in isolation due to close contact with those who have been infected. Friday evening, it was revealed that at least three members of the Steelers organization have also tested positive.