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Lions begin OTAs on Tuesday: What you need to know

The next phase of the offseason is here, but what does that entail?

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions begin the next phase of the offseason on Tuesday with the beginning of organized team activities (OTAs). This will represent the first real football activity for the 2016 Lions team. Here's all you need to know about what OTAs are and what to expect from them over the course of the next four weeks.

What are OTAs?

Organized team activities are an offseason program where coaches can get their first look at their team in football situations. Prior phases to the offseason only permitted physical workouts or individual drills. During OTAs, teams can practice 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. In other words, OTAs are finally something that resembles real football.

Still, no contact is allowed and the players won't be wearing any pads, except knee and elbow pads and a helmet.

When do OTAs begin?

The Lions will hold their first OTA on Tuesday, May 24 (according to

How long do OTAs last?

OTAs are six hour sessions that last four weeks. Each team is permitted 10 total OTAs, with a maximum of three sessions per week during the first two weeks of the program.

Who will be at OTAs?

Player participation is voluntary, but all 90 players currently on the roster are invited to participate. Players that were given tryouts during rookie minicamp are not allowed to attend unless they signed a contract with the team.

Will the Lions allow media coverage of OTAs?

According to Tim Twentyman of, the media will have access to one in every three sessions in its entirety.

What's next?

After the completion of the Lions' 10 OTAs, they will hold a three-day minicamp from June 14-16, according to