In the largest step toward reopening 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.
Only the San Francisco 49ers still face restrictions on the return of staffers, but a source said Thursday that the league office and team ownership is working with local government officials to allow the team to resume operations as soon as possible. The source added that 49ers ownership supported the reopening of the league to coaches and conveyed that the team didn’t want to stand in the way of the NFL resuming coaching operations on Friday.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell notified teams of the step Thursday, issuing a memo that coaches will now count toward a 100-person cap inside facilities. That move will widen the spectrum of NFL personnel in facilities to include operational staffers, front-office personnel, coaches, medical and training staff, as well as players who are receiving injury or rehabilitation treatment.
As for the return of players, two league sources said a brief and likely voluntary return by players to the facility prior to the summer break appears to be less optimistic. One source said guidance from the league office on players could happen as early as Thursday evening or Friday. Some teams had hoped an agreement could be reached with the NFL Players Association to open facilities to players in some fashion by mid to late June.
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