Sources have told Yahoo Sports that NFL head coaches could potentially be heading back into team facilities as soon as next week and that the league is aiming for minicamps to begin sometime between June 15 and June 27. Some teams, such as the Baltimore Ravens, have already mentioned certain facilities already reopening, though with restrictions.
We have re-opened the Under Armour Performance Center under Phase I of the NFL’s process.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 26, 2020
Coaches and players are still not permitted to return, per NFL rules. No more than 75 employees or contractors are permitted in the building.
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Teams typically do conduct minicamps in June with training camps set to begin in late July and it is not yet known how this first phase could impact the start dates of team activities down the line, including the start of the regular season. The NFL has announced a normal 16-game schedule that will begin on a normal date, but everything will depend on the state of the world in relation to COVID-19. A key component of that is what California governor Gavin Newsom ultimately ends up deciding.
If Newsom opens the way for full team operations (without any fan attendance), the league could then give NFL franchises the option of holding a minicamp sometime in June, before breaking once again and setting dates for the opening of training camps.
“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.
Newsom has been seen as strict to any wave of major reopenings in the state, but recently said that sports could resume in June under safe conditions.
There is nothing but optimism that the NFL will start its season on time if you talk to people in the NFL but whether or not there will be fans in the stadium is left as the main sticking point. But let’s remember that we were at least two months into the discovery of the virus before the NBA shutdown operations practically mid-game and almost nobody was expecting sports — let alone movie theaters, restaurants, and even walking in the park — to be put on pause up until the moment it all happened.
What will happen with the NFL next? That’s impossible to say and foolish to assume with certainty, but the plan remains for the games to start in September and with as close to a normal amount of preparation as usual. The may begin next week with Sean McVay back in the office.