The NFL held its draft in April as scheduled amid the pandemic coronavirus

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The NFL held its draft in April as scheduled amid the pandemic coronavirus
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / FEB. 3

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke at a news conference in Miami the day after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54.

NEW YORK >> Commissioner Roger Goodell told the NFL team today that the draft will continue as planned for next month.

The draft will still take place April 23-25. It was originally scheduled for a major outdoor production in Las Vegas, but those plans were scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, Goodell said that “public health conditions are very uncertain” and there was no guarantee of significant improvement by moving it to a later date as reasons for not moving the date of the draft.

The draft, which has become a big fantasy since leaving New York in 2015, will be scaled down and “televised in a way that reflects current conditions.”

Candidates and their families will not be in the draft. Possibly the draft will be more like a TV studio show.

Even without the big party on the field, the draft should still draw considerable attention and television ratings while the rest of the sports world is largely closed because of the coronavirus.

Goodell instructed the 32 teams to close the facilities for all but a select few on Wednesday. On Thursday, he said teams plan to draft operations outside of team facilities and with the ability to talk to other teams as well as the draft central office.

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