Lions president Rod Wood highlights pandemic-motivated changes around team facility
As the Detroit Lions players report on Tuesday for their first round of coronavirus testing prior to the start of training camp, the team posted a video on its social media accounts with president Rod Wood highlighting some of the pandemic-related changes around the Allen Park practice facility.
The tour starts outside the building, where a sign reminds all entrants to practice social distancing and masks are required inside the facility. Once in the entry way, Wood's temperature is taken and logged.
Inside the building, there is additional signage, including arrows on the floor indicating which side of the hallway people are expected to walk on to maintain social distance. At the receptionist's desk, as well as several open-air workstations throughout the building, Plexiglas plating has been installed to limit unnecessary exposure between individuals. And at the entry point for staircases and in front of the elevators there are disinfectant stations.
Going deeper into the building, the Lions have made multiple moves to encourage players and staff to maintain distance as much as possible throughout the day. Those include several training tables being moved out of the trainer's room into the main hall and the addition of a tent outside of the building to expand the size of the dining room. There are similar plans in place to move some of the weight room equipment outside during training sessions.
The Lions are still experimenting with meeting space, and Wood showed off one potential setup, with 90 chairs spread out across the indoor practice field and a portable big screen and large speakers to display the day's film.
Finally, outside the building there's a new medical trailer where players will be regularly tested for the virus. Players must have negative results after testing on Tuesday and Friday this week before they are even permitted to enter the building for the first time.
After gaining entrance, players and staff will be tested daily the next two weeks. As long as the positive infection rate remains under 5 percent during those two weeks, teams can then reduce testing to every other day. If, at any point, the rate goes above 5 percent, the team must return to daily testing.
The NFL is requiring teams to report positive tests and/or exposure to someone with the virus on its daily transaction wire. On Sunday and Monday, 24 players were placed on the reserve list with a COVID-19 designation. That number likely will swell Tuesday, when veterans across the league are scheduled to report.
Additionally, the Minnesota Vikings announced their head trainer and infectious control officer Eric Sugarman tested positive on Monday.
"I have an immense amount of pride in the effort I have personally put forth to protect the NFL family, the Minnesota Vikings organization and our community with thoughtfulness and decision-making based on the current science over these last four months," Sugarman said in a statement released by the team. "I am humble to be serving in that capacity as it has been some of the most rewarding work of my career. But as I sit here in quarantine, it is clear this virus does not discriminate. It should continue to be taken seriously. I encourage people to take the necessary precautions and follow guidelines that have been established nationally and locally."