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.

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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.

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