In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is considering potential changes to the upcoming NFL Draft, as Michael Gehlken of the Dallas News writes. As of this writing, the draft is slated to take place in Las Vegas from April 23-25.
On Wednesday night, the NBA suspended its season shortly after learning that Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. The unprecedented move has many calling for the NFL to take similar measures with the draft, free agency, and other major league milestones on the horizon.
“The league office, the players association and the city and the state are working together,” Raiders owner Mark Davis told Gehlken in a phone interview on Wednesday. “They’re making a measured decision. Health and safety will always be No. 1.”
The draft is one of many face-to-face large scale conferences on the league’s calendar. In just a few weeks, for example, the annual owners meetings are set to take place. Beyond that, the NFL offseason calls for countless flights, meetings, and workouts. Hours after the NBA paused its season and the United States announced a ban on most travel to Europe, it’s hard to imagine the NFL going about business as usual.
For the draft, the NFL may scale back or eliminate fan attendance entirely. There has also been speculation that the draft could take place entirely via teleconference
“They’ll make the correct decision,” Davis told Gehlken. “They won’t put anyone in jeopardy over it.”
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