Jay Glazer is reporting via Twitter that the players have now ratified the CBA and that football is officially back. The Steelers pushed back the starting time of practice today in hopes that the labor agreement would get enough votes and overcome the HGH testing obstacle, so the Steelers 15 free agent players that have agreed to terms could finally begin practicing with the team. Until the ratification process was complete, signed free agent players were unable to take part in practice.
The Steelers ended up beginning practice at around 4:30 p.m. with several of the free agents ready to go in pads, but still unable to practice. Nose tackle Chris Hoke was seen taking off his shoulder pads as practice got underway. Joining Hoke in awaiting the official word are Ike Taylor, William Gay, Willie Colon, Jonathan Scott, Mewelde Moore, Dennis Dixon, John Gilmore, Tony Hills, Doug Legursky, Ryan Mundy, Shaun Suisham, Daniel Sepulveda, Jeremy Kapinos and Greg Warren.
ETA: The Steelers free agents officially have received word that they can indeed now practicing.