There is no hard date when the COVID-19 virus will be banished to outer space and we’ll get to hold a big parade celebrating the end of a global pandemic. Global pandemics, unfortunately, do not work that way.
In light of that reality, organizations are having to make calls about what’s safe, when it’s safe to try those things that might be safe, and how to get back to as close as normal as we can possibly get. Our favorite Atlanta Falcons are hardly an exception to that, and while we’re a long way away from seeing training camp or the season, they’re taking an important first step on Tuesday, per the team’s Matthew Tabeek.
I’m not sure when other teams will be re-opening their facilities on a limited basis, but I doubt the Falcons will be the only ones targeting next week. As noted in the article linked above, the team can only bring back up to half of their staff, and coaches and players are not allowed at the facility at all just yet unless it happens to be a rehabbing player. It’s not at all clear whether teams will now be able to conduct physicals or anything like that, but as this new normal arrives, we’ll likely learn more soon.
For now, this is about seeing what will work and whether it’ll work. If teams can bring a significant chunk of their staff back into facilities like Flowery Branch without outbreaks or other crises arising, chances are good they’ll get coaching staffs back. If re-integrating coaching staffs works, players may follow, and so forth. Again, as these are completely uncharted waters for the NFL, we’re just going to have to see how it goes, but if you’re joining us in hoping for a 2020 season, this is important.
Here’s hoping for a smooth re-opening of Flowery Branch and that team staff stay healthy. In the meantime, the team’s virtual offseason program will keep grinding on, and we’ll hope everything converges on a healthy 2020 season that we can all enjoy in good health ourselves.