The Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers have pulled their coaches off the road for the pro-day circuit, at least temporarily, as a precautionary measure as the country grapples with the spread of the coronavirus, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.
“It’s true,” one coach texted Yahoo Sports, saying that the situation is “sorta fluid” and that they expect to “get more information as time goes on.”
A source indicated to Yahoo Sports that the New Orleans Saints were discussing plans to limit coaches' contact in these settings, but the team reportedly has denied that they have not changed any travels plans yet and are operating “business as usual.”
The Steelers told Yahoo Sports, “We’ve adjusted our travel plans temporarily as it pertains to pro days.”
The team currently has coaches and scouts on the road now, but the increased concern over the coronavirus pandemic has forced the change of plans.
The Kansas City Chiefs have also pulled football personnel off the road, a source told Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor on Wednesday evening.
Pro days are well underway across the country as college prospects go through the NFL draft process. Among the bigger schools in action on Wednesday include Oklahoma and Wisconsin, programs with multiple Day 1 and 2 NFL draft prospects. Coaches often start getting involved in the scouting process following the season and typically are sent to dozens of pro days as extra sets of eyes on talent.
Scouts for those two teams still expect to attend pro-day workouts as planned. Many NFL scouts do not work on a daily basis at teams’ facilities and are based regionally, thus minimizing the risk of potentially spreading the virus at those workplaces.
Many teams already have sent their coaches to pro-day workouts at schools across the country for the past week.
Every NFL team has had a meeting to discuss safety measures against the virus, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
Some teams are trying to limit airline travel as much as possible for their staff, even changing road-trip plans to driving in some cases.
It’s possible that coaches from those teams could attend pro days close to their teams’ locations that don’t require air travel. One source said they expect their club to make case-by-case decisions based on the schools and the latest health information they’re receiving.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is expected to be the keynote speaker at the University of Tennessee’s 2020 football coaches clinic, which runs from March 26-28 at the school’s facility and is open to high school and middle school coaches. The clinic coincides with the Volunteers’ pro day on March 26.
School spokesman Bill Martin told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that as far as the school is aware Pederson is still expected to attend the clinic and that pro day.
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