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NFL issues procedures for coaching and G.M. interviews during pandemic

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Steve Kornacki returns to the big board to look at the NFC playoff picture as the Vikings made a jump to No. 7 following their win and a Cardinals loss.

The NFL’s annual hiring season will begin long before the pandemic ends. Thus, the NFL has issued procedures for the coming cycle of filling jobs.

Prior to the end of the 2020 regular season, all interviews for coach, coordinator, G.M., or assistant G.M. must happen virtually, by video conference of phone. After the end of the regular season, the protocol changes.

During the postseason, if the candidate’s club has been eliminated from the playoffs, interviews can be conducted in person. If the candidate’s team is still participating in the postseason, the interview must be virtual.

For any in-person interview, the interviewing team and the candidate (with one representative present) must wear masks at all times and maintain six feet of physical distance. The interviews are recommended to be as short as possible, with multiple 30-minute meetings preferred over a two- or three-hour continuous session.

Club personnel who attend an in-person interview outside their team’s city are subject COVID-19 testing requirements, and all travel must comply with local, state, and federal regulations regarding quarantine and testing.

It’s a smart way to limit the spread of the virus, and it shouldn’t prevent teams from doing their homework on the various candidates and fully and properly screening them directly.