Although the NFL has announced plans of staging an entirely virtual Phase 1 of the offseason program before progressing to a hybrid format that will feature online meetings and on-field drill work in Phases 2 and 3, NFL Players Association leaders will continue to push for no in-person activities this spring and summer until training camps open.
On the heels of the NFL’s memo to teams on Wednesday afternoon, NFLPA executive committee members sent players an email later that evening recommending they not attend any in-person organized team activities, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on the matter.
NFLPA brass remains adamant that so long as COVID-19 remains a threat, there’s no need to subject players and their families to unnecessary risk by holding organized team activities during the offseason. The players' union wants the offseason program to take place virtually just as it did last year to help minimize the risk of players contracting the coronavirus. The NFLPA would be in favor of players returning to the field in late July or early August for training camps.
NFLPA president and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter told USA TODAY Sports in a recent interview that a 100% virtual offseason also helped players better take care of their bodies and reduce the risk of ACL tears and concussions during the 2020 regular season.