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Washington Football Team kicks off mini-camp, eyes Richmond

The Washington Football Team stretches prior to a mini-camp workout on June 8, 2021.
The Washington Football Team stretches prior to a mini-camp workout on June 8, 2021.(WWBT NBC12)
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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ASHBURN, Va. (WWBT) - A Washington Football Team practice under the hot June sun on a humid morning in Northern Virginia- normally you’d probably hear some complaints, but after a year of no team offseason workouts, these late spring days have provided a sense or normalcy.

“We still have some protocols to follow as far as social distancing and gathering indoors and crowds and all that kind of stuff,” said head Washington head coach Ron Rivera. “We have to be smart about that, but still being able now to have what amounts to a four-week program in person with one week of phase two , two weeks of phase three, and one week of mini camp, that’s pretty cool.”

“A lot of guys are getting vaccinated and there are a little less restrictions,” added offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. “Things definitely feel a little bit more normal around here.”

Tuesday marked the opening of Washington’s mandatory mini-camp, which will run through Thursday. The full team session follows a rookie camp and voluntary OTA sessions and marks the final three team workouts prior to training camp in Richmond. Hitting the road again is something the players seem to be looking forward.

“Just having the fans out there, especially going through the whole COVID season, seeing them out there during training camp, always a lot of Hokie fans out there, so it will definitely be exciting,” said cornerback Kendall Fuller, a Virginia Tech product.

“I actually do enjoy getting away for training camp,” Leno added. “It’s a little breather. The season can get long when you have practice there the whole time and you’re still there. Breaking it up a little bit is not too bad.”

Washington will visit the River City to open camp from July 27-July 31, significantly less time than the approximately two and a half weeks the team has stayed for its first seven years of making the trip. Rivera said on Tuesday that doing more a full camp on the road would be more difficult, as the team continues to navigate through COVID-19, but he did make it clear that the club’s fanbase in Richmond is valuable in his eyes.

“We owed it to Richmond to get back down there and reengage with our fanbase and that’s important that they know that they’re important to us,” the head coach noted. “Just want to make sure that the folks down in Richmond and all of our fanbase in that area know that we do appreciate their support and we hope to get them back.”

Rivera also said that all of the squad’s fully-padded practices will be in Ashburn, with the first week in Richmond seeing the team in helmets only to start off, followed by shells on Friday and Saturday.

Also of note from Tuesday’s mini-camp practice, reigning defensive rookie of the year Chase Young was a full go, after missing voluntary OTA sessions the past couple of weeks. Young said he was doing a number of endorsement and commercial shoots, including Under Armour and eBay, but added that he was always in communication with his coaches. Young has been working out on his own during the offseason.

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