NFL halts pre-draft prospect visits in wake of coronavirus

Teams will be allowed to conduct interviews with players via phone and video chat functions.

SHARE NFL halts pre-draft prospect visits in wake of coronavirus
St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon, 1/2 Marathon & 5K

Fans gather for the NFL Draft last year in Nashville, Tenn.

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NFL is halting all pre-draft visits — both by prospects to team facilities and by scouts and executives to visit the player —because of fears over spreading the coronavirus. The stoppage is effective at the end of Friday and is indefinite.

Teams will be allowed to conduct interviews with players via phone and video chat functions.

The decision was made to eliminate travel and promote social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus. At least for now, the NFL is planning on beginning the tampering period on Monday.

The Bears had already announced Thursday afternoon they were grounding all team travel and postponing draft prospect visits.

Typically, each team is granted 30 interviews, held at the franchise’s home base, with draft prospects. Those visits are typically, but not always, reserved for players of particular interest to a team. Sometimes, player visits are used to sort through potential undrafted free agent possibilities.

Players with injury concerns are typically examined by teams at their facilities — something that won’t happen under the new rule.

The NFL said its decision was made after consulting with its own doctors and national groups.

The league’s draft is scheduled to begin April 23 in Las Vegas.

The Latest
Minnesota scored four times in the 10th inning to drop the Sox 5 1/2 games back in the AL Central.
Reliever David Robertson walked in the tying run in the ninth inning of the Cubs’ 5-2 extra-innings loss to the Brewers on Monday.
Police identified the shooting suspect as Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, a 22-year-old who remained on the loose for more than eight hours after the attack in the affluent suburb’s downtown area.
Among the fatal attacks, a woman was killed and a gunman was among two others wounded in a shootout Friday night in Chinatown, Chicago police said.
When government refuses to act, it betrays the ideals we celebrate on the Fourth.