First, it was the return of pre-season games. More recently, players started showing up at team facilities for the rookie minicamps and off-season workouts.
In the latest sign that the NFL is slowly returning to normal despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports that the New York Giants and New England Patriots, who will face each other in the preseason finale, might be planning a joint practice session this summer if league health and safety rules permit it.
Reiss also reported that although the two teams are scheduled to play the pre-season finale in East Rutherford, the joint practices, if they are held, could be conducted in Foxborough.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has long been a fan of holding joint summer practices with other teams, a sentiment shared by Giants head coach Joe Judge. Belichick, and by extension Judge, believe that joint practices provide yet another angle in gauging a team's progress.
Last year, there were reports that the Giants were looking into holding joint training camp practices with the Tennessee Titans, but unfortunately, those never materialized due to the pandemic.
The Giants haven't announced when they will begin training camp this year, nor has there been any word about whether a select group of dates will be open to the public as has been the practice in the past.
The State of New Jersey has been gradually expanding limits previously put in place governing maximum crowd capacity at indoor and outdoor venues, so any such decisions will be made per whatever guidelines are in place at the time.