NFL Announces Training Camp Report Dates; All Veterans Due by July 28

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2020

NFL logo on goal post pad during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Images/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

The NFL announced Saturday that players will begin reporting to training camp next week, with all veterans being due by July 28.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero tweeted the letter sent from the NFL to all 32 teams:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

NFL clubs just received this email with reporting dates. Training camp is on. https://t.co/lya1JtxW4o

Rookies will report to camp July 21, followed by quarterbacks and injured players July 23. All other players must report July 28. The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs are exceptions since they are set to play in the first game of the regular season Sept. 10.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, both the Chiefs and Texans have told their players to begin reporting Monday (July 20), and the Chiefs told all players to be at camp by July 25.

Pelissero noted that only 20 players will be allowed at team facilities at a time initially until the NFLPA agrees on infectious disease emergency response plans for each team.

Rapoport added that the NFL and NFLPA may continue negotiating a resolution to the revenue shortfall throughout training camp as well:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The NFL and NFLPA would like to have the all-important economics figured out before camp. But it’s not a necessity, so they can keep talking about the revenue shortfall while camp goes. They’ll resolve other money issues (risk stipends etc) sooner. https://t.co/yojAaf7JC8

With the regular season set to start in September, preseason games in jeopardy and every team having missed out on in-person OTAs because of the coronavirus pandemic, training camp will arguably be more important than ever this year.

While teams have met virtually on Zoom calls many times since the draft, the fact that rookies and veterans have yet to integrate on the field aside from workouts organized by players without coaches involved means teams are well behind where they would normally be in terms of preparation for the season.

On Wednesday, NFLPA general counsel Tom DePaso conducted a Zoom call with NFL agents and noted that the NFLPA supports the cancellation of all preseason games, per NJ.com's Zack Rosenblatt:

"No clear reasoning for having them. A dry run for a regular-season game is really not good enough for putting a player at greater risk. The players understand they are at higher risk and they want to mitigate it as much as they can. They understand they can't eliminate it but they feel it's not worth it for those [preseason games] ... the most important part of the season are the regular-season games and playoff games."

DePaso also said the NFLPA is "very concerned" about players reporting to camp in COVID-19 hot spots such as California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia.

According to ESPN's Dan GrazianoNFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and President J.C. Tretter said Friday that they consulted with team doctors for clubs that are located in COVID-19 hot spot areas to discuss player safety and plans moving forward.

Questions still have to be answered regarding the preseason and when full teams will be allowed to gather at facilities, but having report dates in place for training camp is a significant step in the right direction when it comes to starting the regular season on time in September.