It happens all too often that information gets out to the public that wasn’t supposed to be available. Either because that information was not meant to be known—either at all or at that time—or because it’s simply inaccurate. Often enough, it’s hard to tell which it is until whatever it is the report is about comes to be—or doesn’t.
The latest example of this was a report from the early afternoon yesterday in which Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported 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”, which would still be dependent upon all teams being able to do it.
Even more significant was his report that head coaches “could return to facilities as early as next week”, adding that players could follow in mid- to late-June, a timeframe that would obviously correspond to the start of minicamp.
Since pretty much March, it has largely been taken as a foregone conclusion that Spring workouts in-person would not be possible, or at least would be rather unlikely. The NFL never closed the window on that possibility, but it felt like a longshot.
Shortly after this report surfaced, league representative Brian McCarthy was quick to address it, with Albert Breer relaying what he was told. “We are not putting dates on a potential return”, he wrote. “We have been and will continue working hard in hand with the NFLPA. We will base our decisions on the latest medical advice and in compliance with local and state guidelines”.
While this does not necessarily contradict the report that minicamps could take place some time between the middle and the end of June, it also in no way confirms that the league feels it is in position to reopen facilities to players right now, let alone to get them on grass.
Ordinarily, minicamps would be held right in that time period before teams were off for roughly the next month or so between then and the beginning of training camp. It’s unlikely that, should they be unable to conduct minicamp by the end of June, they would still try to conduct it at some point in July.
In fact, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN wrote on Twitter that “coaches from multiple NFL teams tell me their staffs aren’t returning to team facilities until training camp barring an unforeseen development. Others are holding out hope for in-person work in June, but some teams are making the decision now that everything stays virtual”.
Needless to say, everybody is anxious to get back out there on the grass, or to at least read about players being able to return to practice. The NFL offseason is very structured, like clockwork, and we are being deprived of our expected fix, quite frankly. Everybody’s getting antsy.