Report: 2021 NFL Scouting Combine in jeopardy
The 2021 NFL Scouting Combine, an event in which college stars can improve their draft status every year, may be in jeopardy due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ESPN’s Adam Schefter had the news on Sunday morning.
Per Schefter, the annual combine is “questionable for this winter.” A decision is expected to be made on the event sometime this week. The NFL Scouting Combine has taken place each year since 1987 and is hosted by Indianapolis, with workouts taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, sources said the league has debated numerous ways to approach it: have it in a reduced form in Indianapolis in February, push it back to April, or simply just use regional combines that would eliminate the need for many of the prospects to travel to Indianapolis, as they regularly have done for the past three-plus decades.
But the NFL offseason calendar is largely contingent upon the first event in it: the combine, which has occurred each winter in Indianapolis since 1987. If the combine is pushed back, it could impact the timing of when free agency would begin as well as the dates of the draft.
The other complication now is that the NCAA announced last week that it is staging the majority of the 2021 men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis from March 14 through April 5, creating challenges for the NFL if it had any plans to push back the combine, which usually begins in late February.
There could be serious downsizing with the event, or it could be scrapped completely. Teams hosting individual pro days on campus could help with scouting for NFL teams, but it’s unclear whether or not that will take place this year.
We should know more this week.