New Jersey governor Phil Murphy approves activities for pro teams

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) celebrates with goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) after they defeated the Los Angeles Kings in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Newark, N.J. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday that as long as the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils follow health and medical protocols, they could open training camps or even hold competition.

The NFL’s pre-season and training camps wouldn’t begin until midsummer — teams are doing virtual workouts in place of the usual on-field activities because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the NHL is planning ways to complete the 2019-20 season. Should those plans include the Devils, they now can reopen their training facilities.

“Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition — if their leagues choose to move in that direction,” Murphy wrote on Twitter.

“We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel.”

A Jets spokesman said: “We are working closely with Gov. Murphy’s office, the league and our medical staff to establish prudent, health and safety measures for our staff and players. Based on those guidelines, we will begin to open our facility using a phased approach at a time that is the most practical for our operations.”

The Giants echoed those sentiments and said: “With today’s announcement by the governor, we are finalizing our plans to reopen the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. We will continue to have as many employees as possible working remotely. For employees who need to return to work at our facility, we expect to begin that process next week, and we will do so in a systematic and safe way that adheres to the state’s guidelines and NFL protocols.”

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