Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, and the rest of the team’s coaching staff, will be allowed to return to the team facilities on Friday, under the guidelines of a memo sent from the NFL to all 32 teams on Thursday. The memo still restricts players from using team facilities, unless they are undergoing rehabilitation treatment, and the total number of employees, to include coaches, is still limited.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted a portion of the memo, which reads:
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 of 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 a total of 100 subject again to state and local regulation and implementation of the protocols developed under the leaders 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.
Rapoport adds that 31 of the 32 league franchises are expected to be able have coaches return tomorrow. The San Francisco 49ers are the lone team who may not be able to have their staff in the facility, but the “team is aware and supportive of the plan and has been in communication with its local authorities to obtain all necessary permissions when available.”
This is not a sign that organized team activities, minicamps, or training camp are imminent, but it is at least a step toward football. Testing, a level playing field for all 32 teams, and government restrictions will play into whenever the league allows players back into facilities and when the offseason/preseason training programs can truly begin.