On the first day of practice at training camp you will hear about whether players passed a conditioning test.
What is this test? It’s exactly what it sounds like. Before practice commences, players need to show that they are both healthy and in good physical shape.
The conditioning test is a grueling physical workout. The specifics of what it entails and what is required to pass varies by team.
This is what the Ravens had to do last year.
Players must run a total of 900 yards in six legs. Each set consists of 25 yards out and back three times. They must finish that heat of 150 yards under a designated time — 32 seconds for the offensive and defensive linemen, 29 seconds for the tight ends and linebackers and 27 seconds for the wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs. If you go over that time in any of the six legs, you flunk the test and have to take it over.
The break between each set is 64 seconds.
Back during the Rex Ryan years, here is what Jets players had to do.
The Jets’ conditioning test consists of three types of interval sprints for linemen, the so-called mids (linebackers, tight ends and quarterbacks) and skill players (receivers, running backs and defensive backs).
The linemen run 20 40-yard dashes, and each must be under six seconds. There is a 30-second rest between each 40, and the sprints are split into two sets of 10 with a three-minute break in between.
The mids must run 20 50-yard dashes in under seven seconds, and the skill players need to run 20 60-yard dashes under eight seconds with the same 30-second rest between sprints and the same three-minute break between sets.
You get the idea. The specific distances, times, and rest periods vary, but these all provide a big test.
Players who fail the test (or are unable to attempt it due to injury) generally revert to the physically unable to perform list until they are able to pass.