Roger Goodell

Goodell memo outlines limited May 15 reopening of NFL team facilities

Goodell memo outlines limited May 15 reopening of NFL team facilities

The NFL has sent its 32 teams a memo outlining a limited reopening of team facilities beginning May 15. 

Commissioner Roger Goodell's memo lists protocols beginning with allowing 50 percent of non-player personnel (up to 75 employees) into facilities on a single day. Some states require a lower number, such as Massachusetts which has banned gatherings of 10 or more. 

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In the first phase, no players would be allowed in the facilities unless continuing therapy and rehabilitation for injuries that were halted at facilities when they were ordered closed on March 25 by Goodell.

Among the other protocols are wearing a cloth face covering or medical-style mask as well as daily screening of employees and visitors who must have their temperature taken and answer questions.

ESPN's Adam Schefter obtained a copy of Goodell's memo:

Goodell wrote that the protocols "can also be adapted and supplemented to ensure compliance with any state and local public health requirements."

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Goodell also noted that the league is working in consultation with the NFL Players Association on the next phase to allow more staffers and players at facilities. As he has before while the coronavirus crisis worsened, the commissioner again cautioned against public comments from team officials about hypothetical scenarios for the 2020 season.

The NFL has publicly stated it will open on time and with full stadiums. The 2020 schedule will be released Thursday night and is expected to include the flexibility to be adjusted based on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. 

NFL sets ticket refund policy but planning for full stadiums, for now

NFL sets ticket refund policy but planning for full stadiums, for now

The NFL will release its schedule Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET and is still full-speed ahead on opening with full stadiums and on time, beginning with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the opener on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Still, the league has plenty of contingencies in case changes have to be made, including sending a memo Tuesday to all 32 teams (obtained by The Associated Press) that outlines a ticket refund policy for games that may be canceled or have to be played without spectators. 

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The policy applies to tickets sold directly by teams.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, “all clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is canceled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club (i.e., season tickets, group sales and/or partial season plans) will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club.”

The AP also reported that the NFL has received assurances from secondary market ticket sellers Ticketmaster and SeatGeek that they'll make full refunds available for all ticket sales within no more than 30 days of cancellation. StubHub will do so only where required by state law.

Goodell's memo also reiterated that ultimately the leagues scheduling decisions "will be guided by medical and public health advice and will comply with government regulations. We will be prepared to make necessary adjustments just as we have in other contexts, such as the offseason program and the draft."

In Major League Baseball, individual teams have set their refund policies (here's the Red Sox's) for games lost to the coronavirus crisis. The New York Yankees and Mets drew criticism for the hoops they asked their fans to jump through for their refunds. 

NFL says Patriots videotaping investigation 'remains under review'

NFL says Patriots videotaping investigation 'remains under review'

It seems like forever ago that the NFL announced it was investigating the New England Patriots for videotaping the Bengals' sideline during Cincinnati's  Week 14 road game against the Cleveland Browns in December.

There's been no explanation from the league as to why the investigation has taken so long to complete. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at his Super Bowl LIV press conference in January the league would be "extremely thorough" with its investigation.

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NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk on Tuesday that "the matter remains under review."

The 2020 NFL Draft is fast approaching and scheduled to start next Thursday, April 23. Therefore, it would appear unlikely that any punishment the Patriots might receive would involve the loss of a 2020 draft pick. 

The Patriots released a statement following the incident in question that said a video crew was sent to Cleveland to gather footage for a feature on an advanced scout that would run in a web series titled "Do Your Job". New England also admitted the video crew "inappropriately filmed the field" from its position in the press box at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The Bengals lost to the Browns and hosted the Patriots the following Sunday. New England beat Cincinnati 34-13 in Week 15 to clinch a playoff berth.

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