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Notes: NFL running low on time for key offseason decisions regarding COVID-19

Still more questions than answers as details begin to emerge.

NFL: JUL 30 Detroit Lions Training Camp Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As training camps and the (shortened?) preseason approaches, quite a bit of NFL coverage has turned to logistics and questions asking “how are we really going to do this?” At the broad level we have league-wide operations and how games can be played with or without fans, how the scheduling will work, travel, and so on, but then there are the micro-level decisions as well. Players and staffs have individual health concerns. Teams may have to deal with localized issues including laws or policies idiosyncratic to their state or local area.

However, even the latest reports coming from NFL insiders provided little clarity on key issues this week. As The Athletic’s Chris Burke pointed out, there is not a lot of time considering how many decisions remain unsettled.

On Thursday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported on a conference call held by the players’ union to discuss how players will live and work during training camp, and what kinds of restrictions there may be outside of team activities. From what Graziano posted, it seems like much of what was communicated did not go over well with the player representatives:

Michael Rothstein, who covers the Lions for ESPN, had a Twitter thread with several thoughts on team depth dealing with list status codes and practice squad rules. He has some good points on how the timing built into existing rules were not really made to deal with simultaneous mass changes in eligibility status affecting a single roster (such as an entire unit getting sick):

Less time during the offseason to evaluate and develop players has undoubtedly already affected every team in the league, but there is no way to know by how much. Cohesion among players and coaches, administrative and organizational relationships, and even players simply getting a shot to get a contract may all have taken a hit:

Heading into July and what seems like rising levels of risk in many parts of the country, it will be interesting to see how the league addresses player concerns before rookies must start reporting over the next three weeks (Detroit rookies report on July 19, veterans on July 26).


And now, on to the rest of today’s holiday weekend Notes:

  • Jeff Risdon at Lions Wire re-watched the Lions game in Week 9 against the Raiders from last season and wrote a detailed blow-by-blow summary of it. Big ups to him for doing this with games I could not even get motivated to watch during the season while they were actually happening.

  • Speaking of the 2019 season, James Light had a nice Xs and Os look back at the last-gasp play of the road win at Philadelphia. On 4th-and-15, Rashaan Melvin broke up a deep middle throw by Carson Wentz to seal the deal. Here’s the coverage:

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