NFL Extends Virtual Offseason Through End of May amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 08:  Detail view of three NFL footballs on the sideline before the game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Buffalo defeats New York 17-16.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The NFL's virtual offseason will now continue for two more weeks amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Meanwhile, the NFL provided an update for teams today on their virtual offseason, extending them another few weeks through May 29. Here is the memo: https://t.co/Vy8Khxu1Od

The league had initially reached an agreement with the NFL Players Association to conduct all offseason business remotely through May 15.

The pandemic has presented obvious problems for teams in terms of their preparations for the 2020 season.

They were unable to perform their usual scouting ahead of the NFL draft, and incoming rookies can't work out with their new teammates to build an on-field rapport.

Players are also left on their own to train and make sure they stay in shape, which isn't easy in the context of ensuring an entire roster is aligned on the same general exercise and nutrition regimen.

Training camps don't open until mid-July, which is probably the point at which a virtual offseason begins to become a serious problem. If players are unable to attend training camp, it could present the league with a dilemma with the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 6 as the informal start to the preseason slate.

The NFL released its full regular-season schedule on May 7. Although the league hasn't delayed the start of the season, Sports Business Journal's John Ourand and Ben Fischer reported officials were putting contingencies in place with regard to the schedule in the event it needed to push any games back.