NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has instructed the 32 teams to close their facilities to all but a select few employees by 6 p.m. Wednesday.
In a memo to the teams, Goodell said the restrictions meant as a safeguard against the new coronavirus will be in force until at least April 8, when the league will re-evaluate, using advice from medical experts and health authorities.
Goodell told the teams only the following employees can be at team facilities for the next two weeks:
• Trainers or doctors who are providing ongoing medical treatment to players.
• Directors of facilities, security personnel and independent contracts who maintain physical security of the facilities.
• Technology personnel necessary to maintain security and operational capabilities of a team’s IT network that enables remote work by team staff.
“During this time,” Goodell wrote, “clubs are free to conduct all normal business operations, including signing players, evaluating draft-eligible prospects, selling tickets and other activities to prepare for the 2020 season.”
Chiefs ink Pennel, Sherman — The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to one-year deals with defensive tackle Mike Pennel and full-back Anthony Sherman, continuing their trend of keeping low-cost valuable contributors to their Super Bowl run on the roster.
The cash-strapped Chiefs have been relatively quiet in free agency, though they have retained several of their own. That includes franchising defensive tackle Chris Jones and signing backup quarterback Chad Henne on a two-year deal.
Vikings add Sharpe, Zettel — The Minnesota Vikings agreed to contract terms with wide receiver Tajaé Sharpe and defensive end Anthony Zettel, adding two fifth-year veterans at positions vacated by star players.
Sharpe played his first four NFL seasons for Tennessee, a fifth-round draft pick in 2016 out of Massachusetts. Zettel was a sixth-round draft choice by Detroit in 2016 out of Penn State. He has since been with Cleveland, Cincinnati and San Francisco.
Steelers finalize deals — The Pittsburgh Steelers officially signed the well-traveled Stefen Wisniewski to a two-year deal on Wednesday, bringing the veteran offensive lineman to his hometown. Pittsburgh also officially signed fullback Derek Watt, the older brother of outside T.J. Watt, to a three-year contract.
Jets land Onwuasor — A person with direct knowledge of the deal says the New York Jets and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor have agreed to terms on a one-year contract. Onwuasor played his first four NFL seasons in Baltimore and was once considered the heir apparent to C.J. Mosley with the Ravens.
Colts land Day — The Indianapolis Colts added another piece to their defense by signing Sheldon Day, the second former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle to join the Colts in the last two weeks. The Colts acquired All-Pro DeForest Buckner in a trade last week.