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NFL extends ‘virtual’ offseason program through end of May

The NFL has been holding virtual offseason workout programs the past month. On Wednesday, we learned the league will extend them further.

An overall view of practice drills during the final day of Jets mandatory minicamp on June 14, 2018 at The Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The NFL has been using a virtual offseason program for its 32 clubs, and on Wednesday, extended the virtual programs through the end of May, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The virtual offseason was originally scheduled to run through this Friday, May 15th.

Some states are easing coronavirus-related business restrictions, but many states that are home to NFL teams have not yet eased them enough to result in a return to action. The NFL previously said that if one team could not practice in person, none of the teams would be allowed to.

Last week, the NFL unveiled protocols for starting to re-open club facilities for non-playing personnel. It would require approval from local and state health officials, but the league wanted teams to have protocols in place by May 15th. This has been a notable date with numerous states and localities having stay-at-home orders in place through then. Arizona has joined other states in pushing forward with an easing of restrictions, while Washington, DC and Northern Virginia are two of the most recent to extend theirs through the end of May, and beyond in DC’s case.

New York Giants rookie head coach Joe Judge talked about the importance of health and safety in a recent chat with media, according to beat writer Ralph Vacchiano. Judge said, “I have a hard time asking someone to fly across country from California when I’d have a hard time putting my two sons on the plane heading the other way.”

NFL offseason programs run through the middle of June before teams part for six weeks until training camp. Given the current timeline, it is growing more and more unlikely that teams have in-person workouts before the start of training camp.