With some head coaches returning to team offices last week, the NFL and the players association are in discussions about widening the players who can report to the team facilities. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, a target date of June 26 would allow rookies and players who are with a new team to come to the facility on a limited basis.
No dates set yet and no minicamps expected, but the NFL and NFLPA are discussing the possibility of certain players -- such as rookies, and veterans who changed teams and need physicals -- returning to club facilities on a limited basis before June 26, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 8, 2020
Whether it be to conduct physicals or to simply get acquainted with their new team, allowing rookies and newly-acquired players at team facilities is a logical first step. With draft picks usually being whisked away to their new cities within hours of their selection in order to make numerous appearances for media, fans, and other community institutions, it still feels strange the Steelers draft picks have yet to set foot inside of the UPMC Sports Complex.
If rookies and free agents are allowed in the building sooner than later, perhaps it could get the ball rolling with the Steeler signing their 2020 NFL draft selections. At this time, none of their draft picks have been signed.
With teams still hopeful to begin training camp in late July, phasing in a return is something both sides — both the NFLPA and league officials— should be working on. Simply going from no players at the facility to an entire 90-man offseason roster could be too difficult for everyone to handle.
Right now, allowing more players at the facility is just one more small step towards the return of NFL football in the fall.
The NFL also released a memo as to what the requirements will be for teams when players return to the facility.
The NFL issued protocols to clubs this morning laying out plans for players’ return to club facilities, including physical distancing, facility cleaning and disinfecting, equipment cleaning etc. pic.twitter.com/mNzpnqfb0h— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 8, 2020
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for breaking news, player updates, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers.