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Bears started virtual offseason program Monday


The Bears' voluntary offseason program began as scheduled Monday. But unlike previous years, there were no players at Halas Hall running sprints, lifting weights or meeting in classrooms.

With NFL team facilities closed due to the coronavirus, no players are permitted at Halas Hall, period. Instead, the Bears will conduct a virtual offseason program that consists of two-hour classroom sessions four days a week for three weeks.

After having the week of May 11 off, the offseason program will resume May 18 and continue for six weeks. Rookies will have their own virtual minicamp May 8-10 and then join the rest of the team for the remaining six weeks.

To maintain a level playing field, the NFL and NFL Players Association reached an agreement that prohibits teams from working with players at their facilities until all 32 club facilities are allowed to reopen.

If club facilities do not reopen during the offseason program, teams will be allowed to conduct a mandatory veteran minicamp on a virtual basis, with limits of two hours of classroom time and two hours of workout time. Other than the mandatory veteran minicamp, the rest of the offseason program is voluntary—as is the case every year.

The agreement also requires all offseason programs to end by June 26.