As Falcons Facility Reopened Tuesday, Business Was Anything But Usual


May 19, 2020

As state quarantine restrictions slowly begin to ease, professional sports are inching toward a return.

The NFL on Friday told its teams they could open facilities as soon as Tuesday, and six teams took advantage of that with the green light from their local governments. But operations were anything but normal.

The Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons all welcomed a limited number of employees back into their buildings, but the return looked different from franchise to franchise.

There were temperatures taken at the door, one-way hallways and a number of other health precautions taken.

Phase 1 of the NFL’s reopening allows for up to 75 people at the facilities at any given time, but the Atlanta Falcons, for example, decided on a soft opening at their Flowery Branch practice facility with just 15 people at the complex.

“There?s one entrance to come in and out of,” Falcons President Rich McKay said, via the Associated Press’ Barry Wilner. “There?s all the social distancing to be complied with. Everyone?s temperature is checked at the door and you?re asked a series of questions. Everyone must put gloves on and wear a mask the whole time unless they?re alone in a closed office. We don?t have the cafeteria open. We don?t have the team meeting rooms open.”

McKay explained the precautions the team was taken even further in a video posted to the Falcons’ official Twitter. Check it out below.

Players are not yet allowed back at team facilities unless they’re there to rehab an injury, and the league’s chief medical officer Tuesday said there’s no timetable for bringing them back.

But until all 32 clubs no longer are under restriction, some competitive balance must be maintained.

More: NFL Is Aware Positive COVID-19 Cases Will Arise During 2020 Season

Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images
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