Last night, after rubbing and wiping down microphones, and making a point that the Coronavirus is no big deal, the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Last night’s game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was then cancelled. Both the Jazz and Thunder were tested. Out of 58 tests, only Donovan Mitchell tested positive. The NBA subsequently announced a suspension of the regular season until further notice.
Like the NBA, the NFL could make changes to its offseason calendar, though nothing has been done at the time of this posting. The franchise tag deadline remains next Monday, and free agency is scheduled to begin on Wednesday. Currently, the NFL has no plans to move the start of the league’s new year.
NFL said it has "no plans to move the start of the league year."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2020
Teams are pulling their coaches and scouts off the road, though. They are instituting travel bans and keeping things in house. If free agency does continue as it’s supposed to, it will probably be via calls, FaceTime, emails, and digital signatures instead of through face to face, pen to paper interactions.
The Redskins and Buccaneers are pulling their coaches and scouts off the road, as a result of the coronavirus situation. Expect more of this coming.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 12, 2020
The NFL itself is telling its staffers to work from home. That won’t delay voting on the new CBA.
The NFL has told all staff except for operationally critical staff to work from home until further notice beginning tomorrow — “out of an abundance of caution and with the health and safety of our communities as our foremost priority."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2020
The NFLPA sent an email to agents this morning, asking them to contact the union if their clients didn't receive the email to vote on the proposed CBA and adding: "Please encourage your player clients to exercise their right to vote." Deadline remains 11:59 p.m. ET Saturday.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 12, 2020
The league has also canceled all player visits leading into the NFL Draft. College Pro Days are now in jeopardy. Already, fan experiences for the 2020 NFL Draft have been cancelled, and the event itself could be as well. The 2020 NFL Draft could end up being Roger Goodell at the podium and
Mike Mayock Daniel Jeremiah in front of the camera.
NFL cancels top-30 visits for draft prospects at team facilities.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 12, 2020
Currently, free agent signing period still set to begin March 18. Deadline for voting by players on new CBA is Saturday at 11:59 p.m. ET
Fan events for the 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas will be cancelled, according to a Caesars insider. The league is discussing ways to hold the Draft without crowds.— Las Vegas Locally (@LasVegasLocally) March 12, 2020
To sum it up, things are carrying on in the NFL as usual, just in a quieter and stranger fashion. The CBA vote is still on, the new league year is still expected to start on time, free agency should still begin on Wednesday, and no changes have been made to the 2020 NFL Draft just yet.
Wash your hands. Hold your geezers tight. Wash your hands. Limit close human interaction. Wash your hands. Don’t go to big gatherings of people. It looks like things are going to get worse before they get better.