With more and more sports teams and leagues making adjustments over the threat posed by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Kansas City Chiefs are reported to be among NFL teams limiting what their coaches and scouts do during this critical offseason period.
In an article published by Yahoo! Sports writers Charles Robinson and Eric Edholm on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers are described as teams that have pulled their coaches off the road as college teams conduct pro days around the country.
“It’s true,” one coach texted Yahoo Sports, saying that the situation is “sorta fluid” and that they expect to “get more information as time goes on.”
A source indicated to Yahoo Sports that the New Orleans Saints were discussing plans to limit coaches’ contact in these settings, but the team reportedly has denied that they have not changed any travel plans yet and are operating “business as usual.”
The Steelers told Yahoo Sports, “We’ve adjusted our travel plans temporarily as it pertains to pro days.”
And according to Robinson and Edholm’s colleague — friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports — the Chiefs are also making changes to their usual routine.
The Chiefs have done the same, a source tells me. They are exercising extreme caution and are in communication with the league and medical experts regarding the outbreak. https://t.co/1ZBRxWBBlQ— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 12, 2020
Kansas City Star Chiefs beat writer Herbie Teope also chimed in with a piece of information.
To add to this, I'm also told the alteration process for the Chiefs includes scouts utilizing driving as a mode of transportation in lieu of flying. Hours ago, nothing changed "for now." It's been a fluid day in the world of sports, especially in the last few hours. https://t.co/Rg1bnRe4hK— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) March 12, 2020
According to a report from KVVU-TV in Las Vegas, plans for the draft remain in place.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy shared the statement Tuesday morning, echoing an earlier statement that the NFL was monitoring the situation closely.
“Our plans remain in place. The NFL continues to closely monitor coronavirus developments and has been in contact with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NFL-NFLPA’s medical experts at the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON). We will continue to monitor and share guidance as the situation warrants and as our experts recommend.”
So for now, the draft in Las Vegas is a go. But as we have seen in recent days and weeks, things could change quickly.
There is little chance the draft itself will be canceled; the only issue is whether the parts of the draft weekend that are open to the public will take place. After all, as recently as 1994, it was held in a hotel conference room with no members of the public present.
If necessary, it could even be conducted via teleconference.