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Report: NFL creating tiers of access for team facilities

The NFL is slowly working toward its health and safety protocols. We break down the latest news around a tiering system.

A general view of the fields from above during the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp on August 3, 2019 at Chuck Noll Stadium at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL is working through its health and safety protocols for getting the 2020 season started, and the league is dictating clubs divide their organizations into tiers that define where personnel can go and what they can do, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter obtained a memo sent to all 32 teams that mandates each team develop an Infectious Disease Emergency Response plan for containing an outbreak. The tiering system is part of it, and would divide up how much access personnel get to practice and stadium fields, sidelines, the locker room, and training rooms. Each employee would wear a photographed credential spelling out their tier access.

Tier 1 will include players and any personnel who must have direct access to the players. Tier 2 will include general managers, football operations staff, other assistant coaches that don’t require direct access (e.g. potentially quality control coaches), video personnel and others, “who may need to be in close proximity to the players and other Tier 1 individuals who may need to access restricted areas.” Tier 3 will include personnel who perform essential facility, stadium or event services, but do need close contact with Tier 1 individuals.

Notably, the league want a separate entrance for Tier 1 and 2 members, and personnel with access to restricted areas have to undergo daily testing and answer questions about potential exposure to Covid-19.

The NFL and NFLPA have been working on health and safety protocols to figure out when players will be able to report for training camp. Sorting out this tiering procedure will be part of the broader process of figuring out how to get players into camp in a safe manner. Training camp is scheduled to start the final week of July, but that can’t happen until all of this is sorted out. The NFL has remaining publicly optimistic about everything starting on time, but plenty appears left to be figured out.