Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports that he’s spoken to coaches from multiple NFL teams who say their staffs aren’t returning to team facilities until training camp barring an unforeseen development.
Fowler adds that others are holding out hope for in-person work in June, but some teams are making the decision now that everything will remain virtual.
NFL PR executive Brian McCarthy issued the following statement regarding the earlier report:
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 26, 2020
NFLPA president J.C. Tretter responded to the report of teams potentially holding offseason workouts in mid-to-late June.
Players: our union has not agreed to any reopening plan. Any reports about coming back to work are hypothetical. You will hear from the NFLPA when there are new developments.
— JC Tretter (@JCTretter) May 26, 2020
Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson says there’s a possibility NFL teams could still hold minicamps in mid-to-late June if state governments continue to clear franchises to resume operations.
Robinson’s sources say head coaches could return to team facilities as early as next week, which would clear the way for teams to potentially get some work on the field if they receive clearance from a few states.
Robinson says a league source mentioned June 15 and June 27 as potential minicamp dates, which is a few weeks later than normal and would also push back the start of training camp. Any minicamps would likely need to be approved by the NFLPA.
The key hurdle is California, as the NFL is waiting for governor Gavin Newsom to allow the state’s professional sports organizations to resume operations without fan attendance.
Because of the league’s focus on parity, no team will be allowed back to work unless all 32 teams have the same opportunity.
Last week Newsom said it was possible sports could return with certain conditions as long as the COVID-19 data indicators showed improvement.
“If California is open for [team] operations soon, minicamps can still happen in June — probably late June, I’d think — but maybe even mid-June,” the league source said.
New York cleared NFL teams to resume activities like training camp on Monday and New Jersey followed suit on Tuesday. As those two states, along with California, have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, this is a good indicator for the NFL resuming operations soon.
The NFL allowed teams to start reopening facilities on May 19 as long as they were in compliance with local regulations and no more than 50 percent of staff or 75 people were in the building at once. No coaches were allowed back either, and the only players allowed back were those rehabbing or receiving medical treatments.
If teams can make it back for some on-field work prior to training camp, it would be another positive indicator toward the 2020 NFL season continuing amidst the pandemic.
We’ll have more on minicamps and the 2020 season as the news is available.