Weeks of dialogue between the NFL and the NFLPA have led to mixed results, with key issues, such as infectious disease emergency response plans, preseason schedule, and the frequency of testing, still unresolved. However, despite these serious unresolved matters, the NFL is forging ahead.
On Saturday morning, the NFL sent out a memo to all 32 teams advising them of report dates for training camp. According to the memo, shared by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, rookies are to report on July 21, quarterbacks and injured players on July 23, and the rest of the roster on July 28.
NFL clubs just received this email with reporting dates.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 18, 2020
Training camp is on. pic.twitter.com/lya1JtxW4o
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the report dates also reflect a planned two-game preseason schedule, to take place between August 20-24 and August 27-31. These dates will see the NFL remain on schedule to kickoff on Thursday, September 10 with the Chiefs hosting the Texans, before the first full Sunday of football on September 13.
Despite the lack of clarity on testing and other health and safety protocols, under the collective bargaining agreement, players will need to show up as planned. Those who don’t report will get hit with daily fines of $40,000-$50,000 and lose an accrued season.
There is, however, some hope that the NFL will do the right thing and hit pause until the season can proceed as safely as possible. Mark Maske of the Washington Post detailed continued conversations between the league and the players association.
The NFL and NFLPA continue to deliberate over unresolved issues such as testing frequency, opt-out rules, preseason length, camp structure, face shields, economics. Adjustments to camp reporting dates remain possible. For now, at least, NFL is sticking to camps being on time.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) July 18, 2020
Earlier this month, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll expressed his desire to delay the return of players if it was necessary to make sure everything was prepared correctly. For now, it appears the NFL is proceeding regardless.