The National Football League’s completely virtual offseason that strays from the usual model of in-person team meetings and drills will continue through May 29, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The current arrangement was originally slated to run through May 15, this Friday, but has been prolonged because of the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The inconsistency across the U.S. in how local governments are responding to the pandemic means some teams would have the chance to go back to work while others are being told to stay home. Therein lies a competitive balance issue, and a likely cause for extending the virtual offseason.
So the Cardinals will continue working from home, despite Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey saying Tuesday that professional sports leagues could return in his state after this Friday.
Because the NFL is a fall sport, it hasn’t bore the brunt of the pandemic like other sports have. While the NBA and NHL had their seasons halted and MLB had its season paused before it even really started, the 2020 NFL Draft took place as scheduled but in a modified format. The same is true of offseason activities, like rookie camp and mini-camp.
“We’ve been installing every day, trying to kind of break it down to 12-day install, offensively and defensively,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “Being in year two (as head coach), that has been a lot smoother.”
Still, not having offseason workouts means rookies don’t get valuable reps under NFL coaching for the first time. Veterans, who haven’t played or practiced football since the last season ended, haven’t gotten the chance to shake off the rust yet.