Detroit Lions players are inching closer and closer to getting back to work. Today the workout schedule for all 32 NFL teams was announced and the Lions program will begin in just two weeks.
According to the official NFL release, the first day of the Lions’ offseason program is scheduled for April 17, less than two weeks before the NFL Draft (April 27-29).
After the initial workout period, the Lions will hold their organized team activities (OTAs) in four different installments:
- May 23-25
- May 30 - June 1
- June 5-6
- June 8-9
After a few days off, the Lions will hold mandatory minicamp from June 13-15.
What isn’t included in this workout list is rookie minicamp, which will be announced at a later time and will either take place from May 5-7 or May 6-8.
While the start of these OTAs represents an exciting step towards the 2017 football season, the programs hardly resemble actual football. Teams have very specific rules of what they can and cannot do. Here are the general rules as provided by the NFL:
As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:
Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
For a complete look at the Detroit Lions’ offseason schedule click here.