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NFL offseason to have mix of virtual meetings, on-field drills due to COVID-19

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Head coach Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders runs on the field with his players during warmups before their game against the Buffalo Bills at Allegiant Stadium on October 4, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Masks are mandatory across the 32 NFL teams unless a player is playing on the field. 

The NFL on Wednesday announced that teams will have a mix of virtual meetings and on-field drills during their offseason programs. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted a link to a document showing the NFL’s nine-week offseason program being split into three phases. 

The first phase will include virtual meetings and a limited number of personnel in the weight and facility rooms. The second will tack on on-field drills with players and coaches under the collective bargaining agreement rules in a no-contact teaching pace. The third phase will let teams do traditional organized training activities but without contact and will include a mandatory minicamp for players.

Daily testing for COVID-19 will also be required for teams during the nine-week program. Social distancing and mask protocols from the regular season will also be in place.

The rookie football development program and rookie minicamp will see no changes, according to the post. 

This comes as the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and Detroit Lions released statements through the NFL Players Association that they will not participate in organized team activities because of coronavirus-related risk. 

The league sent out a memo to teams Tuesday that Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel will be required to get vaccinated in order to work in team facilities unless they abstain for health or religious reasons.

Offseason programs will begin on April 19.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 NFL NFL offseason program OTAs

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