NFL training camps aren’t expected to open until July 28th, but it sounds like rookies could join their teams sooner.
According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL is proposing a calendar that would have rookies report on July 19th.
Per a league source, the NFL’s proposed calendar has rookies reporting for a coronavirus test on July 19, with rookie conditioning beginning two days later, on July 21. That same day, injured veterans would have their coronavirus test, with conditioning for injured veterans starting on July 23. Veterans would be tested for the virus on July 26, with veteran conditioning starting along with the launch of camp on July 28.
This would be a wise move for a variety of reasons. For one, it allows rookies more time to get acclimated to their first professional homes. Guys like Joe Burrow would get more time to meet with coaches and prepare for the upcoming season after not having anything more than virtual offseason workouts to this point.
Secondly, this allows a large group of players to report to their teams before even bigger groups report in the following week. It wouldn’t be smart to have 90 players all reporting within a few days, and rookies account for about 20 players between draft picks and undrafted free agents.
We’re actually seeing a lot of college football programs bringing back players in waves over multiple weeks. Having rookies report about 10 days before veterans would help spread out players returning to town and help prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 from happening within the team.