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Dates set for Lions' offseason training program

Detroit Lions players will be back on the field in Allen Park for the start of the voluntary offseason training program in just a week's time, starting on April 9.

Because the Lions have a new coaching staff, they're allowed to start the offseason training program earlier than clubs that retained their coaching staff.

The NFL released the offseason schedule for all 32 teams on Monday.

Each club's official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a "separates" basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or "OTAs". No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

New head coaches can conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.  Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 26-28), but no earlier than week three of the club's offseason workout program. This year, seven clubs, including the Lions, will hold voluntary veteran minicamps.

The Lions will hold a voluntary, three-day minicamp April 24-26 and a mandatory, three-day minicamp June 5-7.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2018 may begin on May 14. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft.

The NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar (dates are tentative and subject to change):


First Day: April 9

*OTA Offseason Workouts: *May 21-22, May 24, May 30-31, June 11-12, June 14

Voluntary Minicamp: April 24-26

*Mandatory Minicamp: *June 5-7

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