NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 clubs last week to inform them that a new phase of Coronavirus reopening was upon the league: coaching staffs were permitted to return to facilities as early as Friday, June 5th, if they were also allowed to do so based on local and state regulations. Not all of the teams took advantage of this opportunity right away, however, with the New England Patriots a notable exception.
According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots’ staff elected to continue working remotely despite the new NFL guidelines being in place:
While Friday marked the first day coaches were allowed to return their facilities, most (if not all) of the Patriots staffers continued to work remotely. That could change in the coming week, but it wasn’t like there was a sudden rush to get back to the office at the earliest possible time.
Bill Belichick and his staff were in a somewhat unique situation to begin with: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced in late May that the commonwealth’s five professional sports teams — the Patriots as well as the Boston Red Sox (MLB), the Boston Celtics (NBA), the Boston Bruins (NHL), and the New England Revolution (MLS) — would only be allowed to return to work and resume practicing on June 6. This, in turn, would have pushed New England’s return date back one day to begin with.
Nevertheless, it sounds as if Belichick and company feel no urge to return to the Gillette Stadium facilities right away — especially with players still in an unclear situation. While discussions between the NFL and the NFLPA are ongoing, recent reports and developments suggest that they will not be back at team facilities before the start of training camp — one that is currently still scheduled to take place in late July.
For the time being, only players who are undergoing medical treatment or rehabilitation work are allowed to visit team facilities.