BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL is obviously not in season, but teams are in the midst of an important part of their calendar as they send scouts and coaches around the country to scout players ahead of next month’s draft.

That seems like it’s going to be put on hold, though, as the NFL joins the rest of the nation’s professional sports leagues trying to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday morning that teams are discussion the possibility of shutting down their training facilities. If that happens, Schefter speculated that the NFL league year — slated to begin next Wednesday, March 18 — could get pushed back to a later date.

That would be significant news for a number of reasons, including the potential extension of the window of uncertainty regarding Tom Brady, who’s been far and away the biggest offseason storyline the NFL has seen in years.

However, minutes later, multiple reports indicated that the NFL does not plan on moving back the start date of the league year.

The situation, though, should be considered fluid. Teams are likely headed toward a temporary shutdown. On Thursday morning, the Washington Redskins became the first team to announce that it was suspending travel for all scouts and coaches.

“The health and safety of our staff and players is our number one priority and we feel that these are the necessary precautions given the current circumstances,” owner Dan Snyder said.

Shortly thereafter, the Vikings also announced that they were ending travel for scouts and coaches.

Later, the Eagles announced that they were closing their facility, instructing staff to work from home.

Later on Thursday, the NFL canceled its spring meetings.

With scouts and coaches all over the country, other NFL teams are likely to follow suit once the league makes a universal decision.

The NFL’s consideration comes amid major decisions in the sports world, from the NCAA restricting fans from March Madness, to the NBA and MLS suspending their seasons.


Leave a Reply