The NFL was forced to navigate through an unprecedented offseason leading up to the 2020 campaign due to the restrictions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It has been a year since the league had to navigate through uncharted waters and they now have a better idea of what it takes to make organized team activities come to fruition. Regardless, teams around the NFL such as the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced their plans to boycott any in-person organized team activities due to the ongoing pandemic.
OTAs are set to begin on April 19 with teams starting voluntary workouts. However, it appears the league has taken some of the recent developments into consideration.
The NFL released a revised offseason schedule outlining the expected time frames for each phase of the program, via NFL’s Brian McCarthy
Here’s an overview of the 2021 offseason program pic.twitter.com/idMebiqtmQ
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) April 14, 2021
The NFL Players Association made it clear that they would like to keep the offseason program completely virtual like it was last year. As a result, it seems the NFL opted to make some concessions to the program.
Unlike last year, teams will be able to hold a rookie minicamp this time around. The event will take place on one of the two weekends following the 2021 NFL Draft and it should help pay some dividends for some of the new faces making the transition to the league.
The Los Angeles Rams have become accustomed to opening up practice sessions to the fans at UC Irvine ever since the relocation. Of course, it remains to be seen if this will be the case leading up to the 2021 NFL season.
Teams could very well once again opt to err on the side of caution for the players. Especially since they are already gearing up to have full capacity at their respective stadiums this season.