Reports about the return of the season have been up and down - from the optimistic Las Vegas tournament to the season being canceled. As we wrote before, the main issue is ensuring the safety of everyone involved. That means the league would have to be 100% sure anyone players, coaches, and referees come in contact with is free of the virus.
That's why news of a 15-minute test being developed is "a critical first step toward resuming play in the near future." The league and players union have to find a way to keep everyone safe and be efficient about it. One other thing Adam Silver stressed that the league has to be mindful of the situation the country is in. They would only start using this system once such a test is widely available to the general public. So let's say that happens; whats next?
Coaches and GMs stressed the importance of injury prevention before any games are played. We are in the load management era, remember? While players are working out at home, most of them have improvised setups that are not enough to get them to game shape. That is why a draft of a 25-day plan is in development.
As reported by Brian Windhorst, once the league sets a return date, it would give teams 11 days for individual workouts that would ensure social distancing, and then a 14-day training camp if the first 11 days go smoothly - no positive tests or symptoms.
We are all reading the tea leaves here, but we finally know what we are looking for. A quick testing solution widely available, a 25 day ramp-up period before the first game, and a point in the calendar where some sort of regular season/playoffs can happen before the NFL season starts.
P.S. Don't forget all this also has an impact on the '20/'21 season, and current indications say everyone wants to keep it as intact as possible.