NFL facilities reopened to players for workouts Friday morning and several Redskins were there before 8 a.m., ready to get to work.
Linebackers Rob Jackson and Lorenzo Alexander, kicker Graham Gano, and tackles Clint Oldenburg and Selvish Capers were among the first to arrive. [Update: DeAngelo Hall, Will Montgomery, Macho Harris, Kevin Barnes, Chris Horton and Kedric Golston are also on hand.]
The NFL told teams to reopen for business in a limited fashion after a federal judge on Monday issued a preliminary injunction lifting the lockout that owners imposed on players March 12. St. Paul-based judge Susan Richard Nelson on Wednesday refused to stay her order.
Players can work out, receive help from coaches with training and conditioning and see playbooks, according to the rules. But the league has held off on opening free agency or allowing trades as it asks an appellate court to reimpose the lockout.
Players worked out on their own in the weight room, some of them after informal conversations with coaches.
“They were just letting us get back into the swing of things today and then Monday will be more structured,” Capers said. “It just feels good to come home, so to speak, and get back to football. It makes it easier to prepare for the season, being that our coaches are here and we have all the fields and equipment we need here.”
Capers, who spent all of last season on the practice squad, said he spoke briefly with offensive line coach Chris Foerster, and said his goal is to use the offseason prove himself to the coaching staff.
Safety Macho Harris, who the Redskins signed in November, said Nelson’s decision to lift the lockout is a big positive especially for younger, unproven players.
“It’s huge for me because I want to show I’m dedicated and this is where I want to be, so I want to be here early, show the coaches and do everything I can to solidify a position,” said Harris, a former Virginia Tech standout.
Alexander said strength coaches Ray Wright and Chad Englehart told players their plans for the offseason conditioning program, which officially begins Monday, and the schedule for Organized Team Activities (OTAs), which will begin in three to four weeks.
“It was good to get back with Chad and Ray and see what they have planned for us, see the schedule and how everything’s going to play out with OTAs, working out,” Alexander said.
If the NFL wins a stay from the appellate court, the offseason programs would shut down again. But Alexander said he believes the courts will continue to rule in the players’ favor.
“I’m 90 percent sure,” he said. “So far, all the judges have been ruling in our favor. I don’t see no reason why that should change. Everyone could interpret the same facts differently, but I feel confident that it won’t change.”