CLEVELAND — Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) bringing a halt to the majority of the sports world, the NFL's new league year is still scheduled to kick off on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, the Cleveland Browns have directed the majority of their employees to work from home or remotely, in order to limit person-to-person contact.
"We continue to monitor and discuss matters related to coronavirus (COVID-19) in Northeast Ohio and beyond with the leadership of University Hospitals and the Ohio Department of Health," the Browns said in a statement. "Through the guidance of local and state medical professionals, we have implemented multiple proactive measures to help ensure the health and wellness of our staff members and their families."
The Browns' new directive comes one day after the team revealed that it had eliminated air travel for their coaching and scouting staff ahead of next week's official start to the offseason. Staff members, however, will still be able to drive to events such as college pro days.
"We will remain in close communication with NFL leadership and medical experts to determine optimal decisions as we consistently evaluate the impact of coronavirus and the ever-evolving local and national landscape," the team said. "As we address this challenging situation as a shared community, we strongly encourage everyone to stay informed and to follow the best practices and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Ohio Governor’s Office and state and local medical professionals."
Laying claim to $67 million in cap space and the No. 10 pick in next month's NFL Draft, the Browns are expected to be one of the league's more active teams this offseason under first-year general manager Andrew Berry.