On Thursday afternoon, the Detroit Lions joined a long list of NFL teams restricting their own travel and sending several employees home in the wake of the spreading coronavirus.
Here is the official statement released by the team:
“The Detroit Lions have been closely monitoring the global events surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and fully support the precautions being taken in response. Our organization has been in direct contact with the NFL, leading health administrators and city officials throughout this process.
Over the past week we have asked employees to participate in a variety of proactive measures to reduce the risk of transmission at both Ford Field and the team’s training facility in Allen Park. At this time our organization has suspended travel for coaches and player personnel staff. Additionally, we have encouraged all employees, except operationally critical staff, to work remotely until further notice beginning Friday, March 13, 2020. It is imperative that we remain diligent in our responsibility to keep our players, coaches, staff members and their families safe and help slow the spread of the virus.”
This means that the Lions will not attend any Pro Days—though most, including Michigan’s, are being cancelled—and most staff will be working from home instead of their typical posts inside the Lions facility in Allen Park. Although, as ESPN’s Michael Rothstein notes, the Allen Park facility remains open for “operationally critical staff.”
At this moment, the NFL still plans on having the new league year start next Wednesday with the beginning of free agency. Additionally, plans for the NFL Draft remain intact, although the league did announce that the league meetings, scheduled for the end of the month, have been cancelled.