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Thursday afternoon was as bizarre an NFL practice as you’ll ever see: Almost a dozen veterans stretching and watching on a separate field from their teammates, prohibited by league rules from participating.

Then at 4:57 p.m., about 45 minutes into the session, a cheer went up from the players.

The word traveled from general manager Bruce Allen to Shanahan to the sequestered players: The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement was ratified; the new NFL league year had begun, and after five days of just watching, they could practice.

“They were like, ‘Come on, Steve! It’s time to go!’” said free agent defensive end Stephen Bowen. “I was like, ‘All right.’ I started snapping up, did a little stretch and got out there.”

The expected ratification of the CBA was the final chapter in the NFL labor story line. It allowed the Redskins to practice as a team for the first time since training camp began July 28. Newly signed free agents were allowed to attend meetings and watch practice, but they could not work out at the facility or take part in practice.

“It sure is nice to get everybody together, get everybody in camp, actually be able to practice together,” Shanahan said.

“[Practice] was a little bit different … but it worked out well.”