With COVID-19 cases rising across the United States, the NFL is requiring teams to go into intensive protocol starting Saturday, according to a memo commissioner Roger Goodell sent to NFL teams Wednesday.
That means that meetings must be held virtually, outdoors or indoors with a pre-approved plan. All personnel are required to wear face masks or face shields in the facility and on the practice field.
Here’s the full list of intensive protocols:
And Goodell’s memo to teams:
“The upcoming holidays, beginning with Thanksgiving next week, will introduce new risks of exposure that we need to address now,” Goodell wrote, in part. “Because we have a highly sophisticated program of daily testing, we know when the virus enters our facilities, which underscores the importance of contact tracing and other steps to minimize close contacts within a facility. Recent experience has highlighted the importance of minimizing high-risk close contacts; on multiple occasions, we have seen individuals identified on that basis test positive within a short time. We have also seen many instances in which effective action by clubs to minimize these close contacts prevented the virus from spreading within the club, and avoided players or coaches being ruled out of practice or games.”
The Patriots were in intensive protocol earlier in the season when COVID-19 swept through the locker room and quarterback Cam Newton, running back Sony Michel, center James Ferentz, defensive tackles Byron Cowart and Bill Murray and cornerback Stephon Gilmore all had stints on COVID-19/reserve.
So, the Patriots already are accustomed to taking part in virtual meetings.