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Governor of New Jersey OKs pro sports teams returning to training, competition

The governor of New Jersey announced on Tuesday that pro sports teams can begin training for the coming season if they follow appropriate Covid-19 health and safety protocols. We break down what it means.

A general view during the second half of their XFL game at MetLife Stadium on February 29, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy announced via Twitter on Tuesday that professional sports teams in the state are allowed to return to training and competition if their leagues choose to move in that direction. This comes a couple days removed from New York governor Andrew Cuomo announcing the same thing.

The most notable teams this impacts include the Devils, Giants, and Jets, and Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League. Different teams are looking at different restart plans, so not all are impacted the same way. Here’s a look at what it means for each of the notable teams, based in part on where their leagues currently stand.

New Jersey Devils

The NHL is looking at hosting a 24-team playoff in somewhere between two and four cities. It’s not clear yet if players would return to their local spot or go straight to the neutral locations.

New York Giants, New York Jets

The Giants and Jets are in their offseason workout program, but the NFL had announced that teams could start re-opening offices effective May 19th. The Giants and Jets were unable to open their offices due to New Jersey regulations, but that would appear to be changing now. Even with that happening, coaches and players are not yet allowed back at any NFL facilities. The players in particular require the owners reach an agreement with the union to restart in-person activities.

The Jets released a statement, per Ian Rapoport: They are working with Gov Murphy, NFL & docs “to establish prudent, health and safety measures for our staff and players. Based on those guidelines, we will begin to open our facility using a phased approach at a time that is most practical for our operations.”

The Giants released a statement, per Kimberly Jones: “Gov. Murphy and his administration continue to guide New Jerseyans through this very difficult time. We have been in close contact with Gov. Murphy’s staff to comply with the state’s protocols throughout. With today’s announcement by the governor, we are finalizing our plans to reopen the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. We will continue to have as many employees as possible working remotely. For employees who need to return to work at our facility, we expect to begin that process next week, and we will do so in a systematic and safe way that adheres to the state’s guidelines and NFL protocols.”