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Source: CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 28: Draftee Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State arrives to the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images)

Even COVID-19 is making the National Football League lean back. One of their signature events will be hosted online.

The NFL has announced that the 2020 Draft will be held virtually. Their website detailed the decision in a lengthy press release. “As you know, our offices have been closed since March 13 and all Club facilities have been closed since March 26. These steps were taken to protect our players and staffs, to model appropriate behavior, and to ensure competitive equity among all 32 clubs. Given current and expected conditions, and to ensure that we operate responsibly and in full compliance with current regulations, both League and Club facilities will remain closed indefinitely” Roger Goodell stated.

He went to confirm that the draft will go on but in a new format in order to promote social distancing. “Because of these circumstances, Clubs have been advised to prepare to conduct the 2020 Draft entirely outside of their facilities and in a fully virtual format, with club personnel in separate locations and able to communicate with one another and Draft headquarters by phone or internet. We have reviewed this matter in the past few days with both the Competition Committee and CEC, and this will confirm that Clubs will conduct their Draft operations remotely, with club personnel separately located in their homes.”

He went to provide some next steps so individual clubs can prepare for the digital draft. “Accordingly, all clubs should dedicate their personnel and technology resources toward preparing for a fully virtual Draft, with personnel in separate locations. Our staff in Events, Football Operations, Information Technology and the Management Council will be in contact with each Club and remains fully available to answer questions or assist in your preparations. Our understanding is that many clubs are already well advanced in preparing for a virtual Draft and we are confident that all clubs can take the necessary steps to make the 2020 Draft a successful event.”

The draft was originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on April 23-25.

Photo: Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images