The coronavirus has unfortunately begun sweeping the globe and sports leagues are being brought to their knees as they try to manage what’s now been officially deemed a world pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). While the U.S. government and others around the world attempt to get a handle on the virus, new reports of infection are beginning to crop up virtually every minute, and several NFL teams aren’t waiting on a mandate before taking action. There are now four teams confirmed to have pulled back their scouts from travel ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft — the latest being the Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Due to health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, the Redskins have informed all coaches and scouts to suspend all travel until further notice,” team owner Dan Snyder said in an official statement.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is also taking precautions to protect NFL fans. They’ve now announced the postponement of the first-ever “Hall of Fame Fan Fest” that was scheduled for March 21-22 “as a safeguard against the COVID-19 virus.” Those who purchased tickets for the event will receive a full refund.
The decision was made after receiving input from state and local health care authorities, and it will likely not be the last major change seen at the NFL level. The league is currently in discussions as to the coming 2020 NFL Draft and if there will be any changes or drastic overhauls made, and at least two teams — namely the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers — have opted to revisit their pre-draft strategies when considering the amount of travel involved to scout prospects.
The league’s front office has also instructed all but operationally critical staff to work from home until further notice, beginning Friday, March 13. We at CBS Sports will continue to monitor news and provide updates whenever possible — updating this article frequently in the process.
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