NFL players are supposed to be set to begin reporting to training camps as early as Saturday, this applying to the two teams scheduled to play an early game in the opening week of the regular season. Rookies are eligible to report early, which means the rest of the rookies for the other 30 teams would be eligible to report to training camps starting early next week.
According to Adam Schefter, nobody has been given clearance yet from the NFL to allow players to start coming in, and players have to be tested for Covid-19 two days before they report. For the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, the two teams involved in the early game, that means rookies should be getting tested…two days from now, on Thursday.
Chiefs and Texans rookies are scheduled to report to camp Saturday. All players must take COVID-19 tests 48 hours in advance. Yet there has been no clearance yet from the NFL and both teams, like the 30 others, are awaiting word from the league about how to proceed, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 13, 2020
Meanwhile, talks between the NFL and NFLPA haven’t really progressed much, beyond the sides continuing to lay out their position, based on the reports emerging from the latest round of negotiations that took place yesterday—but more on that later.
According to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins have reported told their players that basically “everything is up in the air” concerning when football activities will begin, and that they “could see things getting pushed back”.
There remain a number of key issues that the two parties must resolve, including whether preseason games will be played, how frequently players will be tested for Covid-19, how many players will be working together at a time, total roster sizes for training camp, and the types of drills that will be allowed.
So, a lot of things left to talk about, and not a lot of time.
Beasley quoted another source as saying that, while the team’s July 28 start date for training camp remains on track (and rookies don’t have to report earlier than the rest of the team, even if it would behoove them to do so with no Spring workouts), things “could literally pivot on a dime”. He added that he expects a “hard answer” (as in definitive) this week.
It’s important to note that Florida is the hardest-hit state right now with the most active cases—over 244,000—with over 66,000 of those cases in Miami-Dade county specifically, which saw over 3000 new reported infections yesterday.
It’s understandable that many are growing pessimistic about the NFL being able to stick to its intended timeline regarding the starting of football activities. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, both between the league and the union, and within the country. Could they possibly be forced to reconsider a ‘bubble’ solution, which they have rejected since the start?