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Phase I of offseason program now underway — on the Internet

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On Monday, Chiefs players started their offseason program for the 2020 season — but in a way they (and we) have never seen before.

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

In a typical offseason, Monday would be marked in in red on every Kansas City Chiefs calendar: the beginning of Phase I of the offseason program.

And it still is.

But instead of showing up at the team’s Arrowhead practice facility for voluntary meetings, physical rehabilitation and strength and conditioning, Chiefs players are doing the same thing many Americans are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic: meeting with their co-workers from home through Internet videoconferences.

On Thursday, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach called it a “virtual Phase I.”

‘That will go on for three weeks,” said Veach, “and then from there we will be in contact with the league and defer to their guidance. It is a fluid process here; we’re all aware that some of the stuff can change. From the dialogue I’ve had with coach and our executives, [this is] a virtual Phase I starting. It will be there in place for our players to log on and go through their video chat sessions with their coaches for the next three weeks. Then we’ll be in constant contact with the league and work off of that format.”

A year ago, the beginning of Phase I also included a media availability with head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce. For now, no such press conferences have been scheduled.

So while Phase I is underway, it’s in a different form than we’ve ever seen — and like so many other things, we’re not exactly sure how it will all play out. But like the Chiefs themselves, we’re all going to adapt.