Today, most off the league will be officially opening up their doors again for the first time, basically, in two months. While a very limited reopening, that includes no coaches, nor players unless they are rehabbing an injury, team facilities are permitted to be open, by the league, as of today.
However, that only applies to 22 of 32 teams, reportedly, as the other teams remain affected by state or local stay-at-home orders, for the time being, though likely we will see them also reopening in the coming weeks as well. The Baltimore Ravens will not be among them, however, as Maryland’s stay-at-home orders remain in effect for them.
“We are not opening up tomorrow”, team owner Dick Cass told the team’s website yesterday. “What the commissioner’s memo said is that teams are allowed to open their practice facilities on a limited basis, if it is okay under state and local regulations. In Maryland, we’re deemed to be a non-essential business, and while Governor Hogan eased his stay-at-home orders somewhat last week, the easing didn’t affect our status. So under local and state regulations, we remain closed, and we will remain closed until the governor permits us to open up”.
Truth be told, they’re not missing a great deal, since it doesn’t apply to players and coaches, who will continue to conduct virtual meetings. Nothing that would really affect the team’s ability to win games will be gained by opening up now relative to the teams who are currently unable to do so.
“I think it’s important to note that the opening up the NFL is permitting is a very limited one”, Cass said. “No players will be allowed, and for the time being, no coaches will be allowed. And that’s because—we knew no players would be allowed. I think some teams expected coaches to be allowed back in the building when the NFL lifted its stay-at-home order—but I think the league decided that since some teams could not reopen, it would not be fair to have those other teams that could reopen have their coaches back, because that might somehow give them a competitive advantage”.
Once all applicable stay-at-home orders that affect NFL teams have been rescinded, then it’s likely coaches will be allowed to report to the facilities, since it will then no longer be a matter of competitive balance. It could potentially still be some time before players are also allowed to return, and to do anything on the field.