Since the NFL closed all team facilities in March, coaching staffs have worked remotely from their homes. The decision, forced by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, resulted in a virtual version of free agency, the 2020 NFL Draft, and install sessions between players and coaches.
That will soon change, as the league will begin allowing coaches to return to the office next week with the anticipation of a full-squad minicamp following later in June, according to a new report from Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson. As of now, only select employees can access team facilities in some (but not all) facilities with no more than 75 able to work from the building on any given day. An individual team's roster alone could carry as many as 90 players.
The news comes as the latest indication that the NFL will open the 2020 regular season on schedule, something the league has openly acknowledged might not happen when it released the full schedule in early May. If full-squad minicamps can occur before the end of June, the outlook for teams holding full training camps at their usual time rises significantly.
Even so, the NFL does not appear ready to move on minicamps without the green light from local officials. The report claims that a declaration from California gov. Gavin Newsom "will serve as the key hurdle in whether the NFL can pull off a fully operation minicamp" next month. While only the Los Angeles Chargers and two other teams reside in California, others such as the Dallas Cowboys have spent part of the offseason in the state during past years. The report also highlighted June 15 and 27 as possible dates for minicamp to begin should the league receive the permission it seeks.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH