On a teleconference call last week, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone laughed when asked about when he and the team's coaching staff would be returning to their offices at TIAA Bank Field.
"My wife keeps asking me the same thing!" he laughed.
Unfortunately for Mrs. Marrone, it appears Doug and the coaching staff will be working remotely for a little while longer.
Per the NFL’s protocol for the reopening of club facilities, the Jaguars and Bold Events will begin phase 1 of the reopening of their offices on Tuesday, May 26. NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell sent a memo out to teams on Friday, May 15, saying they could begin "phase one" on Tuesday, May 19. But the Jaguars have opted to ease into the process.
“The reopening of the Jaguars office under established NFL guidelines represents a positive next step toward the return of Jaguars football,” said Jaguars President Mark Lamping in a statement Tuesday. “The Jaguars have remained open for business throughout the last several weeks, and I’m exceptionally proud of how our employees transitioned to virtual collaboration. They maintained the same high standard of customer service our fans have come to expect and have found creative ways to keep fans informed, engaged, active and entertained. Just as we will do for our fans, players and coaches, the Jaguars will continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of our staff.”
Per the NFL's Phase One guidelines, a maximum of 75 employees -- but no more than 50 percent of the team's football staff -- can be working at TIAA Bank Field beginning May 26. That group will include football operations personnel, strength and conditioning, athletic training, equipment, facility management and technology. Coaches and non-rehabbing players are not allowed to return to the facility at this time. Employees' return to the facility is entirely voluntary, "as long as they are comfortable returning to the stadium," the Jaguars said in a press release Tuesday.
Following NFL protocol for the reopening of club facilities, the Jaguars have established an Infectious Response Team (IRT), which consists of team leadership, medical personnel and employees from the security, operations and legal departments. The IRT, led by Head Team Physician Kevin Kaplan, Team Internist Mike Yorio and Infectious Disease Physician Ken Meyer, has been in constant communication to ensure that the health and safety of all employees is paramount and have enacted the following protocols in conjunction with all NFL guidelines and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state government:
The Jaguars’ IRT is responsible for the implementation of a screening process, which requires employees to complete a training exercise and questionnaire and undergo multiple temperature checks. The safety protocols include adding additional signage, education about respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene, ensuring social distancing where possible, placing markings on the floor to help with social distancing, and implementing a process to audit cleaning protocols.
Masks must be worn in the stadium by all employees unless they are alone in their offices. For those employees that work in close proximity to others, the team’s IRT has been working to construct a strategic entry plan to maintain proper social distancing and will institute a rotational work schedule based on office location and timing.
Protocol for how the team would respond to a situation where someone tests positive for COVID-19 or experiences related-symptoms has been created by the club’s IRT and will be handled in a diligent manner.
But again: at this time, coaches and active players are not among those who will be admitted to the facility or, therefore, subject to this protocol. They'll be expected to continue operating "at full capacity," but still in a remote, virtual setting.
So, it would appear Doug Marrone has a few more weeks of leading "sports trivia and debate" at the family dinner table each night.