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NFL: coaches may return to team facilities

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Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

In a letter on Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed teams that their coaching staffs — including Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and his assistants — could begin returning to team facilities on Friday.

It is not clear, however, if Chiefs coaches could return under the orders announced by Missouri governor Mike Parson last Thursday, which extend through June 15. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, orders issued by local authorities take precedence over NFL rules. To this point, Chiefs staff members have been in the facility under existing NFL and local restrictions — but whether the addition of coaches will violate the most recent local rules is unknown.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport was first with the news:

This isn’t, however, a full return to normal operations as they existed before the coronavirus pandemic.

As under previous pandemic rules, players will not be allowed in the facility unless they are rehabbing from injuries. This means that the virtual offseason will continue — except now, NFL rules will allow coaches will be able to be in their offices, rather than in their homes.

In addition, the number of employees who will be allowed to be working in the entire facility (in the case of the Chiefs, this means Arrowhead Stadium and the team’s practice facility on the grounds of the Truman Sports Complex) remains limited. But that limit is being raised from 75 to 100 persons — which should be enough for a team’s full coaching staff to return to their offices alongside other staff members who have already been working in team facilities.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer released the whole letter sent to teams.

Aside from the Chiefs, it is believed that all NFL coaching staffs would be able to return to team facilities on Friday — except for San Francisco 49ers coaches. Another report from Rapoport said that the Bay Area team “is aware and supportive of the plan and has been in communication with its local authorities to obtain all necessary permissions.”

Appearing on NFL Network Thursday, Rapoport said that he had spoken to some teams that said they may choose to wait until Monday to bring coaches into their facilities — or perhaps not at all until training camp.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo wondered which coach would drive up the team facility at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Assuming local authorities allow it, we would not bet against Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.