The US has reportedly designated professional athletes as essential workers during the coronavirus crisis.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said on Tuesday that the order was signed by acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, according to Mike Zeisberger of

RELATED:  NHL Adopts 24-Team Playoff if Season Resumes

The move apparently comes as the NHL and other leagues gear up for a potential return to action. On Tuesday, the NHL put forth a plan for a return that would begin with a 24-team playoff, officially ending the regular season.

Flip the Page to Read the Report: