The NFL is getting close to the start of their 2020 season. Teams are ready to open training camp, despite ongoing discussions and negotiations between the league and the NFL Players Association on testing and protocols for operations during the coronavirus pandemic. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, teams are permitted to establish the start dates of training camp and tell players when they are expected to report. Those notifications seem to have started.
Camps are expected to open as early as next week, with rookies and select veterans able to start reporting as early as Monday. It appears the Kansas City Chiefs are ready to go, telling their rookies and quarterbacks to report to the teams’ facilities on Monday to start COVID-19 testing, as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Friday, Shortly there after, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added the Houston Texans will also have their rookies report on Monday.
The teams are expected to start with COVID-19 testing when players report, then spend the next couple of days completing physicals and issuing equipment. Classroom and indoor workouts will then begin before eventually moving to outdoor, on-field work. The NFL is still planning for two preseason games, though the NFLPA is pushing to cancel all preseason contests to allow more camp time and mitigate travel risks before the regular season.
The sides are also believed to be negotiating roster sizes, practice squad sizes, ability to return additional players from the injured reserve and non-football injury lists, and limit practices to half-rosters with multiple practice sessions per day.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported Friday morning the Miami Dolphins have not told their rookies when to report. The team was expected to have them in the building on July 21, next Tuesday, but nothing has been confirmed. The NFLPA stated on Friday there are concerns about players reporting to training camp in “hot spots” for the coronavirus, Jackson added later in the day.
According to the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Schad, NFL team doctors, on a conference call with the NFLPA on Thursday, stated they believe it is safe to open training camps.