BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team’s podcast, “The Lounge,” that he is confident the league and its Players Association will find a way to make the season work as the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
“The one thing that I’m confident of is that, unless we and the Players Association and the league believe we can do this safely, I don’t think we’ll do it. I just have confidence that we can make this work,” Cass said.
He went on to say that he expects enough testing to be widely available to allow the team to carry out its normal training camp safely.
“We believe by the time of training camp, we’ll be able to test players and coaches, and those who meet together a lot, multiple times a week and be able to get results fairly quickly,” Cass said.
With much of Maryland under a “Safer At Home” order, and some parts still under a “Stay At Home” order, the Baltimore Ravens are still a ways away from opening their facility. Other teams in municipalities where those restrictions have been loosened are allowed to begin opening their facilities today, according to a memo the league sent out on Friday. Cass said he doesn’t believe coming back later than other teams will put them at any disadvantage.
“It would be great to have our players back, but I don’t see that happening really any time soon,” Cass said. “My understanding from talking to John [Harbaugh] and others is that those meetings [virtually] are going OK. They wouldn’t be much better if the players were remote and the coaches were in the office rather than in their homes.”
Saying he doesn’t expect players to return anytime soon may not have Ravens fans feeling optimistic, but Cass did go on to say that the plan is to have players, coaches, and some staff back in place by the time training camp starts up in late July.
“If the infection rate is really low, as I expect it will be by late summer, and we have adequate testing, and people are careful when they leave the building, I think there’s a really good shot that we’ll be OK,” Cass said.
Those that do return will see some tighter safety measures in effect in order to attempt to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus at the facilities.
According to the team site, the following protocols are being put in place.
- Before entering premises, people will have temperature taken and be asked series of questions at a guard station
- Temperature will be taken again at entrance of main lobby where they will also be required to sanitize their hands.
- Six feet of social distancing will be maintained at all times and every person in the building will be required to wear a mask
- The team’s non-football personnel will be separated from the team completely
Cass also said that he expects employees that don’t need to be at the Under Armour Performance Center to work remotely throughout the season.