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NFL teams can reopen Tuesday, but Broncos taking a gradual approach

While NFL is allowing employees return to facilities Tuesday, Broncos will take a week to implement safety measures before allowing workers back week of May 25.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Although the NFL is allowing teams to reopen its facilities for workers on Tuesday, Broncos chief executive officer Joe Ellis has notified his employees of the Denver organization’s own gradual reopening plan.

In an e-mail distributed to the team’s 250-plus employees Saturday, the Broncos will spend next week making sure extensive safety measures against COVID-19 are implemented at its stadium and team headquarter facilities. Up to 75 employees can then start to enter the buildings for work the week of May 25, including general manager John Elway and his football operations staff.

The vast majority of employees will continue to work remotely from home until the week of June 1. 

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Coaches and players are still not permitted inside the facilities for competitive balance reasons.

"With so many employees tied the coaches and players in various roles this was a factor in our decision to not rush our return back to the office," Ellis said in his e-mail.

Members of Broncos’ COVID-19 task force led by Brittany Bowlen, the organization’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, submitted a comprehensive infection-response plan to the league office Friday.

RELATED: Broncos' COVID-19 task force prepares to slowly reopen facilities next week

Ellis told employees in his e-mail: "While we are one of the teams eligible to return under our conditions here in Colorado, we are not going to rush this important process. With your safety and well-being in mind, the vast majority of our employees will continue to work from home through at least the end of May."

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio and his assistant coaches will continue to hold virtual team meetings with players over the next few weeks. The only members of the Broncos' coaching staff allowed at the team's headquarters is strength and conditioning coach Loren Landow and his assistants. They have been rehabbing injured players throughout the offseason.

Credit: Twitter: @MikeKlis

The Broncos’ task force is finalizing a collection of PPE equipment. Employees can pick up masks on Wednesday, May 20 and May 27 at either Empower Field at Mile High or the UCHealth Training Center headquarters. At that point, club officials will also be distributing employee training materials.

"Although there is currently no set timeline for when this next phase of expanded facility access could begin," Ellis added in his e-mail to employees, "we should remain prepared in the event that it occurs in the very near future."

The Broncos are tentatively planning to open training camp on July 28 or 29 with their first preseason game scheduled for August 15 against the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High.

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