While the NFL hasn’t been able to conduct business as usual this offseason due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it appears normalcy may be just around the corner.
Things have been especially difficult for the Las Vegas Raiders considering they are in the process of moving from Oakland to the desert while also undergoing a number of roster changes this offseason.
While virtual offseason meetings have sufficed to this point, Jon Gruden and his staff have to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field to prepare their team for the 2020 season.
It appears that may be in the near future as Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports is reporting that coaches may be able to return to offices soon, with players to follow for offseason minicamps:
With state governments eyeing an entry point for NFL franchises to resume offseason activities, sources tell Yahoo Sports that head coaches could return to team facilities as early as next week — with players potentially following in full-squad minicamps in mid to late June.
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.
While nothing is set in stone yet, things have been trending this way for a while as other sports are also on the verge of returning, if they have not already.
The Raiders’ offices are technically still in California as they are supposed to hold training camp in Napa once again this year before officially making the move to Las Vegas. Allegiant Stadium and the new practice facility in Henderson will likely be completed sometime this summer.
California Governor Gavin Newsom will play a big role in whether the Raiders and other teams can have in-person meetings and practices though according to Robinson:
One league source told Yahoo Sports that a declaration from California Gov. Gavin Newsom will serve as the key hurdle in whether the NFL can pull off a fully operational minicamp in June. 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.
Only time will tell if those dates are obtainable, but with the regular season still months away, it does not appear that the NFL will have to make any changes to its schedule, which is good news for all parties involved.