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NFL splits up scouting combine into regional and Pro Day alternatives due to COVID-19

The NFL’s first major offseason event faces questions due to COVID-19.

A general view as defensive back Brian Cole II of Mississippi State runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 29, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

JAN 18 UPDATE: The NFL announced changes to the 2021 scouting combine. There will be no in-person workouts, with pro days on campus being the workout evaluation events. The team interviews and psychological testing will all be virtual. There will also be limited in-person medical exams potentially in April.

JAN 16 UPDATE: Albert Breer is reporting the Combine is likely to have the performance and medical components split up. Options include regional medical check-ups and then more formal Pro Day workouts where league officials would provide formal league-wide results. The league is planning a call next week to finalize the details.

According to well-placed sources, the idea of having the combine in Indianapolis in any sort of traditional manner on time is dead, and the overwhelming likelihood is that the performance and medical components are split up.

The NFL will wrap up its season in a little under a month, and the first major event of the offseason is officially in question. The league is expected to make a decision in the next week about the status of the annual scouting combine that takes place in Indianapolis, per Adam Schefter.

The combine takes place in late February and brings together virtually every draft prospect of significance, along with representatives from all 32 teams. Players are put through drills, tests, and interviews. The league is looking at either a reduced event in Indianapolis in February, pushing it back to April, or using regional combines to cut down on the need for extensive travel.

The national combine also provides a place for teams to discuss potential trades and engage agents in discussions about their various free agents for the start of free agency in March. Schefter is reporting that if the combine is moved back, it could result in free agency getting pushed back.