This week, the NFL is reopening facilities amid coronavirus restrictions in a very limited way. Coaches can’t report and only players who are undergoing injury rehabilitation can come in, but it’s a step nonetheless.
Three months ago, the idea of an owner coming to the office being newsworthy would have been crazy. Not as crazy as the Pennsylvania governor ripping Ben Roethlisberger for getting a haircut, but weird nonetheless.
On Tuesday, it was a small sign of hope.
Jerry Jones reports back to work
You’d have never thought a photo of Jones sitting as his desk would be significant.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 19, 2020
It’s still not normal, of course. The NFL had its owners’ meeting on Tuesday, but it was done virtually. There are still a lot of hurdles before players are back and games can be played. Small steps.
“This is a big day for clubs all over the NFL and for our league as a whole, a big day for sports in general, a day for building confidence,” Jones told the Cowboys’ site. “It’s great to be back in the office this morning. I thought there was no better place for me to participate in our virtual League meeting today than right here at my desk at The Star.”
Texas has been reopening, and the Cowboys’ site said the team could have 75 employees at The Star, their headquarters. Jones said he expects representatives from nearly every department back at the office next week.
Jones: ‘We’ll do it the right way’
The NFL is restricting coaches from returning and not allowing entire teams back in their facilities due to competitive equity. Not all states are reopening at the same pace (Charles Robinson’s state-by-state breakdown is a must-read for NFL fans).
There have been signs of optimism for football being ready to go to start the season. California Gov. Gavin Newsom saying pro sports could return without fans to his state in early June was a big step. Other governors, like New York’s Andrew Cuomo, have expressed support for the NFL’s return.
There will be safety measures, and likely some setbacks, but it was still oddly comforting to see Jones behind his desk.
“We are going to be deliberate but also determined,” Jones told the team’s site. “We will keep a close eye on the comfort and care of all of our employees who will be involved in this transition. We are committed to doing that in a smart and safe way that complies with all of the appropriate health and workplace safety standards. We’ll do it the right way.”
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