In a response to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL has decided to "prohibit all in-person pre-draft visits involving draft-eligible players," the league announced in a memo released on Friday. Specifically, draft-eligible players are not allowed to travel to a club facility or any other location to meet with team personnel. Organizations are also barred from traveling to draft-eligible player's schools.
Teams can, however, speak with prospects via telephone or video conference through the day prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. Any of those phone or video chats must be reported to the player personnel department upon completion "along with the call participants, date and time of the call, and total length of the call."
While clubs can still talk to potential draft picks, they are somewhat limited in what they can do in that avenue as well. According to the memo, teams can schedule no more than three telephone or video conferences with an individual draft-eligible player per week (Sunday through Saturday). Each conversation (telephone for video chat) can last no longer than one hour. Those meetings also cannot be conducted during a time that interferes with a player's school schedule.
The league also says they will work with the Competition Committee and the General Managers Advisory Committee to "discuss ways to collect and disseminate medical information of draft-eligible players."
"We have not taken this step lightly but believe that it is most consistent with protecting the health of our club personnel, draft eligible players, and the public," the NFL player personnel memo reads.
This latest move by the league to curtail the impact that COVID-19 could have on its personnel comes off the heels of the NFL canceling the annual league meeting and a large majority of teams suspending all travel due to health concerns. Of course, this situation with the NFL pales in comparison to other leagues such as the NBA, NCAA, MLS and MLB, who are all either canceling, postponing or delaying their seasons due to the coronavirus.