Two more teams are opting against holding minicamps this year. The Texans and 49ers decided to wrap their offseason programs early this week. Both teams’ minicamps were scheduled to take place next week.
Kyle Shanahan said he was leaning toward nixing the extra week of offseason work — the only mandatory pre-training camp component on the NFL’s spring/summer agenda — due to strong OTA attendance. However, the fifth-year HC added recent injuries were a factor. The 49ers lost part-time starters Justin Skule and Tarvarius Moore for the season, and running back Jeff Wilson will miss regular-season time after suffering an injury during OTAs.
“My plan was to get eight (OTAs in), then I was gonna surprise them on Thursday and take everyone bowling,” Shanahan said, via Kyle Madson of Niners Wire. “But after our seventh practice with those two injuries and just the aura it gave to it, I wasn’t gonna come back and do one more just to do one more. … I kinda decided earlier in this if we could get our OTAs in I wasn’t gonna keep them for minicamp because (this year’s offseason schedule is) a week longer than usual.”
The 49ers return many of their starters from 2020, though they did make a notable addition to their quarterback room via the Trey Lance trade. The Texans brought in numerous free agents on short-term deals and changed their coaching staff. Nevertheless, David Culley opted to pull the plug on the three-day mandatory minicamp, Aaron Wilson of Sports Talk 790 notes. The Texans were facing the likelihood of Deshaun Watson beginning a holdout by skipping minicamp, but they postponed that drama for the time being.
These cancelations follow the Eagles and Colts making the same moves and come after the NFLPA encouraged a sizable number of veterans to stay away from voluntary offseason work. While this has led to hiccups — notably in Denver, when Ja’Wuan James and DaeSean Hamilton suffered season-ending injuries away from the team’s facility — it also prompted several teams to rearrange their offseason schedules. It remains to be seen if any developmental impact will emerge from these changes, but the union will likely continue its quest to alter the NFL offseason in 2022.
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