The 2020 NFL Draft will go on as scheduled from April 23 to April 25 despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo that league commissioner Roger Goodell sent to teams Thursday night.
In the memo, which ESPN’s Adam Shefter obtained, Goodell explains the draft will need to be conducted differently as a result of coronavirus and public health concerns.
Goodell writes in the memo that the league has cancelled all public events for the draft, and they will not be bringing prospects and their families to the event in Paradise, Nevada. Instead, the draft itself will be televised without attendees.
Goodell informed teams they “should be doing the necessary planning to conduct Draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to….communicate with other clubs and Draft headquarters.” https://t.co/iHaf5d8eJn
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2020
The commissioner also asked the teams to plan to conduct draft operations in locations away from their facilities and with few people present.
Goodell’s announcement comes just after he instructed all 32 NFL teams to close their facilities to most employees by 6 p.m. Wednesday. The exceptions include trainers and doctors treating players, security, and technology personnel.
He explained that the restrictions are intended merely to protect people against the virus, and they will remain in effect until at least April 8.
The NFL draft, which is the biggest event on the league’s off-the-field calendar, was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas before those plans were dropped as a result of the pandemic.
Still, there is indeed hope at the end of the tunnel leading into the big stadium.