BOSTON (CBS) — Football took a big step towards a return on Thursday, as all 32 teams were told that coaches can can return to work at team facilities on Friday.
That mean’s Bill Belichick will be allowed back to work tomorrow, likely making his way into Gillette Stadium shortly after the clock strikes midnight.
In a memo sent out to teams by commissioner Roger Goodell, coaches were given the OK to return to facilities on Friday. They will count toward the limited number of employees previously allowed by the league, and must follow local or state guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Friday, teams will be allowed to have up to 100 employees at their facilities.
The memo does add that coaches and staff members who may be in the higher risk category should speak with the team’s medical staff and personal physicians before going back to work. The 68-year-old Belichick falls into that category.
Here is the full memo sent to teams, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
This will advise that, beginning tomorrow, June 5, coaching staffs may be among the employees returning to your facility. As has been emphasized in previous advice on reopening facilities, this may occur only if your club has otherwise received necessary permission from state and local governments to reopen its facility.
As stated in my memo on May 28, members of the coaching staff will count toward the maximum number of permissible club employees in the facility. Beginning tomorrow, clubs may increase the number of employees in the facility to 100 subject again to state and local regulation and implementation of the protocols developed under the leadership of Dr. Sills.
Coaches and other football staff, particularly those who may be in a higher risk category or who have concerns about their own health conditions, are expected to speak with the club medical staff or personal physician about any special precautions or other accommodations that may be appropriate for their particular circumstances. In addition, we will work with club medical staffs to implement a program of COVID-19 testing for the coaching staff and other football personnel prior to players returning to club facilities.
While there is still no date for when players can enter facilities, and still no word on when camps or practices can resume, getting coaches back in facilities is a big step toward the NFL kicking off the 2020 season.