If you’re curious as to when will be the earliest you’ll be able to see Justin Fields in Bears gear, you’ll want to circle May 14 on your calendar.
The Chicago Bears announced their offseason training practice schedule, which highlights five sets of dates:
May 14-16: Rookie minicamp
May 25-27: First wave of OTA practices
June 1-3: Second wave of OTAs
June 7-10: Yet another wave of OTA practices
June 15-17: Mandatory minicamp
NFL teams are currently in a phase of the offseason training program where no on-field work can be done. That phase runs through May 14. The three waves of OTA practices are voluntary, and Bears players have said (via a statement) that “a majority” of them were opting out of in-person voluntary workouts. That stance follows the NFLPA’s recommendation to opt out, citing COVID-19 concerns and safety protocols within team buildings. For what it’s worth, the safety protocols that were in effect last season at Halas Hall remain in place.
I’ll be curious to see what attendance looks like for OTAs and minicamps. Because while the NFLPA is standing by its recommendation, Broncos lineman Ja’Wuan James suffering a season-ending Achilles injury while training off site could make some players re-think things. Especially since the Broncos are no longer under any obligation to pay his $10 million salary because the injury took place while away from the team’s facility. So, with that in mind, we’ll see how things unfold.