The National Football League released this week the latest requirements for the upcoming Saints’ season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, the NFL sent a memo to all the teams, including the Saints, detailing the requirements that each team will need to abide by going into training camp and preparing for the start of next year.
According to Jonathan Jones of the CBS Sports Network, the NFL outlines five major points in what each team will have to do to prepare their players, coaches, facilities, and equipment for the team to start their operations for next season.
1. The Saints must establish physical distancing protocols to allow players/coaches and/or staff to maintain six (6) feet of distance from one another when inside the facilities.
2. The Saints are required to promote physical distancing by using distance markers to ensure spacing.
According to the NFL, this includes rearranging or removing furniture, modifying the use of common areas, displaying signs that discourage handshaking or other contacts, and using cones or tape to establish one-way traffic in hallways and corridors.
3. The Saints must reconfigure locker rooms to permit six (6) feet space between each player.
This rule includes making sure every player has his own personal space. It also requires teams to make sure lockers are over six feet apart and that all of a player’s belongings are put in that personal space that they have been designated.
4. Strength and conditioning workouts must be limited to small groups of scheduled players.
According to the NFL’s memo, the staff must allow for individual, staggered player appointments instead of setting a single time for large groups to train. The Saints must also stagger meetings and appointments.
5. Meetings must be conducted virtually to the extent possible.
This is a commonality between most of the world at this point. Schools finished the year virtually, businesses are still conducting virtually, and the NFL is going to do the same. The NFL is also mandating that all in-person meetings be held outside if possible.
These five points are not all of the requirements that will be placed upon the Saints. The NFL is most likely only getting started with these requirements as we grow closer to the start of the next NFL season.