The NFL draft will be held April 23-25, commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed in a memo sent to teams on Thursday.
In the memo, Goodell wrote that despite the coronavirus pandemic halting much of the sports world, the league’s CEC was “unanimous and unequivocal that the Draft should go forward as scheduled.”
“Everyone recognizes that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favorable than they are today,” Goodell wrote. “I also believe that the Draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you have agreed.”
Per Goodell’s memo, all clubs should be planning on conducting draft operations outside of team facilities with a limited number of people present.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that a number of the league’s general managers were “concerned” that there “won’t be enough time for player physicals, gathering psychological testing, getting further verified information about the players” and that some teams might potentially have to conduct the draft from home.
Goodell sent a memo to its clubs on Tuesday evening alerting them that all club facilities will remained closed to all personnel, with limited exceptions.
The NFL draft was originally set to be held in Las Vegas, but it will reportedly now be conducted in a studio setting, according to the Los Angeles Times. The league previously canceled all public events that had been scheduled revolving around the draft.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were more than 512,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, causing 23,400 deaths. The United States now has the most confirmed cases worldwide, with nearly 81,500 confirmed cases.