BOSTON (CBS) — The wheels are in motion for the NFL to return.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, those wheels are of course moving slowly. But the next steps appear to be laid out for players to actually return to work.
That will begin with coaches being allowed back inside team facilities, something that could be allowed next week, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson.
“The sources told Yahoo Sports that if coaches resume their in-house work next week, minicamps including players could be scheduled as early as June 15 or as late as June 27, depending on COVID-19 data and whether a handful of franchises get a ‘go ahead’ signal from state governments to resume full operations,” Robinson reported.
There’s obviously a lot of unknown with such a plan, but the report shows that the league at least hopes to continue moving forward with the 2020 season starting on time as scheduled.
Currently, NFL facilities are allowed to be open to only certain employees and only to players who are receiving treatment. The state-by-state guidelines have dictated when and how those teams can or can’t open their facilities, but there seems to be movement toward careful and gradual openings.
Of course, the complications multiply when rosters of 90 players — plus coaches, trainers, equipment staff, etc. — would be needed for a minicamp. COVID-19 tests and uniform procedures would need to be in place before that would become a reality.
Yet in a world where progress is made slowly, the NFL at least has its eyes set on the next step.