Football, in some form, has returned before the NFL starts it’s training camps this week. The Spring League last week completed its first minicamp since COVID-19 began.
The league is a place where former college and NFL players get a chance to showcase their skills in front of NFL and CFL scouts. Before the kickoff of the XFL 2.0 season, the XFL used The Spring League as a way to test different rules and formations before going live for the 2020 season. The XFL was also heavily involved in scouting players at TSL events.
The professional football development league held its four-day minicamp in Glendale, Colorado, July 14th-17th. Eighty-five players, the majority of whom were under the age of 24, took part in the padded camp, which concluded last Friday with a 90-play scrimmage.
The question on a lot of fan’s minds is can football work in a post COVID world. For The Spring League, the answer is yes. TSL medical staff was on hand to conduct daily health screenings and temperature checks; no players tested positive for COVID-19 during the camp or displayed any symptoms.
According to Kevin Seifert of ESPN, The Spring Leagues protocols were developed by Dr. Paul Auerbach, a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. They included;
A 14-day self-quarantine before camp, with masks worn outside of the home.
All meetings via video conference, with one exception: three quarterbacks and one coach met in a large hotel conference room.
Daily symptom and temperature checks.
Hotels within walking distance of the practice facility.
Field markings for drills that capped participation to 25 people.
Elimination of high-contact drills such as inside-run periods.
One day of 11-on-11 drills.
Coaches wore masks during practice.
Nearly a dozen nurses and athletic trainers on-site whose jobs included reminders on social distancing.
The Spring League is currently planning to conduct an abbreviated fall season in October with four teams playing in Las Vegas at UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium in a made for television format that will include top NFL free agents and possible college football underclassmen hoping to take advantage of playing in The Spring League’s NFL system prior to the 2021 NFL draft.
Fingers crossed we can include XFL staff on hand scouting players for the 2021 XFL season.
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