In an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the midst of another surge throughout the league and the country, the NFL is tweaking its pandemic protocols. Effective this Monday, the league will no longer allow in-person meetings following game day to try and prevent internal spread following close-contact within the game setting. All of those meetings -- player-to-coach, positional, coach-to-coach -- will all need to be done virtually over the course of that two-day period, according to the memo distributed to all 32 teams from the league office.
The exception to this new rule is if a given team is playing on a short week (game on Sunday and another on Thursday). Teams in the midst of those circumstances will be able to enter the facility for meetings. Coaches can enter the facility over this period but are simply not allowed to meet. Players can also come in for recovery but cannot work out together. The locker rooms and cafeterias must be closed over this two-day window.
While this is technically a new mandate from the league, the NFL seemed to go through a trial period of what's to come this past week. The NFL prohibited in-person meetings this past Monday and Tuesday and it would appear the league likes the results that came from it enough to install it permanently. For what it's worth, Mondays and Tuesdays during a normal game week are traditionally not as active for clubs as they mostly don't practice during those days so this isn't truly impacting on-field preparations.
The NFL has also decided to eliminate the 62-player limit on traveling parties. Now, teams can determine the number of players they wish to travel with/attend each game. That includes players on injured reserve and players on the practice squad. Players not permitted, of course, are those on the reserve/COVID list. Clubs are also no longer required to submit a list of the 62 eligible players leading up to each game. Those players that are planning on being on the sideline during games are also required to stay at the team hotel the night before the game.
This arose as a potential problem this past week as the Ravens were dealing with their COVID-19 outbreak and possibly needed to promote multiple players from the practice squad to have a full unit to face the Steelers.