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The National Football League (NFL) has decided to push through with its annual offseason program despite the lockdown.
The offseason period runs from April until the start of the season in September. To prepare players and build up their game plans for the next season, the NFL’s 32 teams all conduct training in the offseason. The training, which involves both veteran and rookie players, is held at each team’s corresponding facilities.
However, due to restrictions brought by the global pandemic, the NFL made changes to its offseason activities this year. The modified trainings now include virtual workouts in place of the usual field trainings.
This year’s virtual workouts ran from April 20 to May 15. The workouts were done through online sessions, and athletes who participated were required to use wearable health devices for monitoring.
Participating in the three-week program was not mandatory. However, athletes who joined the optional workout sessions were paid for their participation, just like in normal offseason workouts. They were also each given a maximum $1500 allowance for training equipment, the cost of which was shouldered by their respective teams. The allowance was used to purchase resistance bands, smartwatches, and kettlebells for athletes who needed them.
Now that the optional workouts are over, the teams will have to participate in mandatory minicamps next. These minicamps will involve field trainings once lockdown restrictions are eased. However, if even one team cannot meet up due to pandemic restrictions, no team will be allowed to do any field trainings. In the event that field trainings are still impossible in June, offseason minicamps will also have to be done online.