While every other professional American sports league has suspended, paused or delayed its current season due to the coronavirus outbreak, the NFL is in the midst of its offseason.
Right now, the NFL is worried about annual events, and the biggest of its offseason is the three-day draft, which is set to take place in Las Vegas on April 23-25.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that, at the moment, the league expects to proceed with the current plan, but it is discussing alternatives in case the outbreak isn't under control by late April.
"As of now, the draft is still scheduled to go on, still in Las Vegas," Rapoport said on "NFL Total Access" on Thursday. "There have been no changes of any kind to that, which is currently scheduled. However, what the league has done, not just today, but over the last several days, more than a week, is go over some contingency plans. So, yes, the draft is scheduled to go on, but in what actual form is certainly a question. Will there be fans there? Will it be a big-time return to sports moment for the NFL if the nation gets over the virus in that time? Or will there be no fans? Will it be in a different location? Potentially, will it be conducted by conference call? All of these things are options. Still a long time away, but the NFL is trying to get a handle on and figure out which direction to go."
The NFL is pulling out all the stops for this year's draft. Wanting to put on a show for the fans in Vegas, the league announced that the Red Carpet event before the draft will take place in the Fountains of Bellagio and players will be transported by boats to the event. After that, the actual draft will take place at Caesars Forum.
Earlier on Thursday, the NFL canceled its Annual Owners Meetings, which were set to take place in Palm Beach, Florida at the end of March.
The Raiders, who will play their inaugural season in Las Vegas this year, hold the No. 12 and No. 19 overall picks in this year's NFL draft. The 49ers, who lost Super Bowl LIV to the Chiefs, hold the No. 31 overall draft pick.
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In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the NBA, NHL and MLS have suspended their seasons. MLB announced Thursday that it was canceling the rest of spring training and delaying the start of the 2020 regular season. The NCAA also announced that its men's and women's basketball tournaments have been canceled.
It's an unprecedented time in the world, and the NFL is making sure it's ready in case it needs to adjust one of its marquee events.