The NFL player’s association released a three-phase plan for teams to return to training camp in the upcoming week. The COVID-19 pandemic suspended offseason activities and the NFLPA still has plenty of concerns about the 2020 season. However, the league’s recent announcement provides some hope for football this fall.
NFL clubs just received this email with reporting dates.
Training camp is on. pic.twitter.com/lya1JtxW4o
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 18, 2020
Several cities with NFL teams are still coronavirus hotspots. Miami, Phoenix, and Los Angeles for instance. Along with the training camp announcement, the league stated that they would like players to be tested on a daily basis as teams prepare for the season. There is some definite skepticism about the training camp plan, but the league has a positive outlook at this time.
“They provided their medical reasons, some of the things we agreed with, some of the things we may not agree to,” executive director of the NFLPA DeMaurice Smith said. “But overall, they gave their medical opinion that it was safe to open training camp. And that’s where we are.”
The Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs will reportedly begin training camp early. The two teams are scheduled to play the season opener on Thursday, September 10.
As of right now, no more than 20 players will be allowed in each team facility at one time. This will remain until the NFLPA signs off on infectious disease emergency response plans for each club, NFL network’s Tom Pelissero reported. However, clubs do have the right to set reporting dates, per CBA rules. Talks between the NFL and NFLPA on protocols will continue as training camps begin.
It’s still pretty wild to me that the NHL, MLB, and now the NFL is moving forward with plans for the upcoming seasons. Several states, and the US overall, has made little to no progress in controlling the spread of the coronavirus. I am also concerned about schools that will not have nearly the access to testing that professional sports organizations have. But that is a separate issue. I have said since the beginning that I really hoped the pandemic wouldn’t be the death of the NFL season. I just thought we would have made more progress by now. Doctors have given teams the green light, but I still have my reservations. Look out for updates as NFL training camps kick-off on July 21.