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Falcons welcomed assistant coaches back to Flowery Branch today

Now the NFL is rumored to be trying to get players back into facilities by the end of June.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL isn’t going to get back to normal this year, at least not in the way we’re used to thinking about normal. They are edging back toward actually having everyone in the building, though, and that’s close enough to normal for us to celebrate.

Today, the team took yet another step in that journey, as a mask-clad Dan Quinn brought a large coffee and his coaching staff into the building with him. Getting all the assistants in one place means the Falcons should be able to ramp up their preparation for training camp and the preseason, because I can’t imagine Zoom is the best way to do that for a bunch of guys used to working closely together.

This is yet another important step, but of course the next big question on everyone’s mind is when the players will actually return to Flowery Branch. Other facilities, too, I guess.

The answer to that appears to be the end of June at the earliest, as reporters have noted there’s a window of June 15-26 but that the NFLPA would need to sign off on that, even on a limited basis. With many states opening back up in one way or another in recent weeks, the players association presumably wants to see what happens before committing to putting dozens of players together again.

Once again, we’re forced to conclude one of these articles with “it’s an important step, but what comes next is uncertain.” If it feels like we’ve been saying that for a while now, it’s because we have, but at least the NFL season still appears to be on track at the moment.