Packers to end virtual offseason early.
NFL Offseason Programs are set to end on June 26th, but Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur told the team's website that he isn't waiting. This week will finish with some reviews, and then the players will be on their own until they report for training camp; which as of now, is July 28th.
Players have been very complimentary of the virtual program that the 2nd year head coach and his staff put together. And LaFleur believes the team accomplished its’ goals.
“It's really two things that we told our guys,” LaFleur told Packers.com Wednesday. “Number one, take care of your bodies, come back for training camp in the best possible shape. Also, it really gave us a chance for these players to learn the system at their own pace. It's a credit to our coaches, it's a credit to our players how attentive they were; we had great communication throughout. I really do think our guys got a lot out of this. I think it is safe to say they would all rather be in Green Bay, be in the building, be around each other, going out on the grass and competing on a daily basis. But it is what it is; we've got to make the best of it, and I thought our guys really did a great job taking advantage of that.”
The next step is training camp, whenever and whatever that looks like. But it will look different, thanks to the long list of mandatory protocols and guidelines the NFL has put in place for teams. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh criticzed those guidelines when they were given to teams, calling them "humanly impossible" to meet. On Wednesday, the league said they were still working on protocols, and revisions are likely as things change due to Covid-19.
“I don't want to say that anything is impossible,” LaFleur told Packers.com. “But yeah, there are some challenges that we are going to have to work through and work around. And who knows if those guidelines will be the same guidelines when we eventually do start camp. So again, it is just about being fluid and about being flexible.”
Also Wednesday, the NFL Network reported the league is considering expanding practice squads this season due to Covid-19 concerns. The new CBA already called for an expansion from 10 players to 12. Wednesday’s report says there are discussions about expanding to as many as 16 players. The NFLPA would have to agree, but since it means more jobs for players, that should not be too difficult.