The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of 20 NFL teams that will begin their virtual offseason programs today amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The league’s 12 other franchises began their programs last Monday, a week after the NFL and NFLPA agreed to terms on the details of the virtual offseason.
According to NFL.com’s Jelani Scott, “the virtual period will consist of three straight weeks of classroom instruction, workouts and non-football educational programs that use videoconferencing.”
Teams will be able to send players workout equipment and instructions, but group on-field work will be prohibited with many club facilities still closed.
While the situation is certainly unprecedented, new Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool is optimistic about the new setup.
“I don’t think it will be too bad. It will be more time for me to get one-on-one work,” Claypool said during his introductory conference call Friday. “I am working with T.J. Houshmandzadeh in California. I will be working with him for a while and then I will try to get to the facility as quick as I can just to get some work in with Ben and JuJu and the other receivers there and familiarize myself with the offense. I don’t think it will limit me because there will be more one-on-one work that I will be put in.”
In addition to the Steelers, the Bengals, Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, Jaguars, Lions, Raiders, Packers, Rams, Saints, Seahawks, Texans, Titans, Vikings and 49ers will also start their virtual programs today.
According to NFL.com’s Judy Battista, May 18th is the set date when “each team can choose to continue its offseason workout program, either virtually or on-field, if teams have been allowed to report to their facilities.”