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Lions forced to forfeit OTA day after violating contact rules at previous practice

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

One of the Detroit Lions' final OTA practices of the offseason has been forfeited after it was determined the team violated collective bargained rules regarding permitted physical contract at a previous OTA.

The team issued a statement on the matter Friday.

“On Friday evening the organization was made aware by the NFL and NFLPA that Organized Team Activities (OTA) practices held the week of May 27 violated player work rules pertaining to on-field physical contact pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement," the statement read. "As a result, the team's OTA practice scheduled for Monday, June 10 has been forfeited. We take very seriously the rules set forth within the NFL’s Offseason Program and have worked to conduct our practices accordingly. We will continue to be vigilant with our practices moving forward."

Lions helmet and two footballs.

Here's what that section of the league's CBA states:

"No live contact is permitted (during OTAs). No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted) except that, outside of the 10-yard line, simulated press coverage is permitted using hand placement (versus jamming) during 11-on-11 drills and related position group one-on-one drills (e.g., footwork and release work (no “live-contact” or “bump-and-run”). During simulated press coverage drills, hand contact between a defensive player and a receiver is permitted provided the defensive player does not impede the receiver or alter his route and no live contact occurs. The NFL shall provide a video that is jointly approved by the parties demonstrating permissible press coverage and one-on-one drills."

The lost practice is part of a three-day OTA period running from June 10-12. It was to be limited to the team's rookies and potentially a handful of younger, inexperienced veterans. The rest of the roster wrapped up its work as part of the team's mandatory minicamp this week. The full team will reconvene for training camp in late July, with the preseason opener scheduled for Aug. 8 against the New York Giants.

Forfeited offseason practices for CBA violations aren't uncommon. In 2022, the Chicago Bears had to forfeit an OTA session for a similar violation to Detroit's. The Cowboys, Jaguars, 49ers and Ravens have also lost practices in recent years.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

@Justin_Rogers