The league and union are still at odds over a number of issues, but at least they have come together on one key point: a club facility protocol for training camp. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the two sides are in agreement on a three-tier framework for facility access.
Florio writes that the agreed-upon structure largely mirrors the directive the NFL issued last month. Tier 1 will include players, coaches, trainers, doctors, the strength and conditioning coach, and the head equipment manager. Tier 2 includes non-playing personnel like the GM, and Tier 3 includes employees who perform facility or event services but who do not need to come into contact with Tier 1 personnel. One week before training camp, teams must submit to the league a list of personnel who will fall under each tier, a process that has generated some heated debate within some organizations.
The protocol, of course, emphasizes strict physical distancing requirements, including the reconfiguration of locker rooms to allow six feet between every player. When in the facility, players must be at least six feet apart at all times, and saunas and steam rooms will not be used.
Players were pushing for all team meetings to be held virtually, and the protocol holds that virtual meetings will be held “to the extent possible.” If an in-person meeting is conducted, it should be held outdoors.
The protocol also allows for up to two fan events at a team’s stadium during training camp — contingent upon the state’s regulations — but obviously fans will not be permitted on the field and will not have contact with players.
Importantly, the protocol makes no mention of the frequency or type of COVID-19 testing. Per Florio, that will likely be covered in a separate document.