According to the newly adopted collective bargaining agreement the players and owners finalized in the spring, rookies are allowed to report to training camp 54 days prior to a team’s Week 1 game. For the Seattle Seahawks, that is Tuesday, however, due to the ongoing negotiations between the league and the union regarding the handling of player health and safety issues and the testing protocols agreed to Monday, reports have the Hawks putting things on hold.
My understanding is Seahawks will not have rookies report tomorrow as scheduled. Team is waiting for all issues regarding testing protocols and camp structure to get sorted out before setting report dates.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) July 20, 2020
League source to @thenewstribune: #Seahawks rookies may not report for training camp until Thursday. Were scheduled in Tuesday. NFL, union continue talks on COVID-19 safety issues. They've agreed to daily testing.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) July 21, 2020
Why practices may not be until late Aug: https://t.co/Wvcb4ieVPy
Further, with the testing protocols the league has put in place, it will be several days after those rookies report before they are actually allowed into the facility.
A memo that just went out outlining COVID-19 testing pic.twitter.com/RnJHRXQOKA— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 20, 2020
Thus, if the rookies, such as Jordyn Brooks, Darrell Taylor and Damien Lewis do not report to camp until Thursday or Friday, that is when their testing regimen will start. Assuming they can get the first test done on the same day as they arrive and report, it’s another three days before they can take the second test. Assuming both tests are negative, then the player can enter the facility on the fifth day. For the Seahawks, that would mean if rookies report on Thursday, the first time they’d be allowed to enter the facility would be Monday, while if it is Friday before they initially report, they’d be able to enter the facility on Tuesday.
Tuesday, of course, is when veterans such as Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Duane Brown and Jason Myers can be required to report under the new CBA. However, due to the testing protocols, while it appears those players can be asked to report to camp next Tuesday, that would simply start the process of their testing. So, assuming those players pass both of their tests, the first test would be next Tuesday, the second test would be Friday and they would be allowed to enter the facility for the first time on Saturday, August 1.
Obviously, there are unresolved issues regarding training camp, the preseason, the regular season and the financials for players and owners going forward. While progress is being made on the issues, in spite of four months of offseason to have addressed these issues, it appears the league’s inability to address these issues has led directly to teams delaying having rookies report for camp.
With training camp so vital for rookies in a normal year, the double whammy of a shortened camp along with the reduction in on-field snaps for youngsters, it could make it extremely difficult for younger players to have an impact on the field early in the season.