Over the weekend, the NFL sent a letter to its clubs reaffirming the reporting schedule for this year’s training camp. With the exception of the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, who will both play in the regular season opener and are operating on a slightly different timetable, each team’s reporting process would begin on July 21 with rookies arriving at the respective facilities. Not every team had them report today, however.
The New England Patriots are among those teams that did not ask their rookie classes to report just yet: while players are in the area, according to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi, they have not arrived at Gillette Stadium for training camp and to undergo the requisite pre-camp medical check-up and Coronavirus testing procedure.
While the Patriots’ first-year players not reporting to camp stands in contrast to the league’s memorandum, it is no surprise that their schedule has been changed. Not only is New England not expected to start its Covid-19 testing before Thursday, as was reported earlier this week, there also are numerous teams all over the NFL that have yet to welcome their draft picks and rookie free agent signees to their facilities.
This is in part because the NFL Players Association has not approved all 32 Infectious Disease Plans at this time: only eight of the submissions have been given the union’s blessing so far, with 24 pending approval at the time being. There is no official word on which side the Patriots’ is, but their rookie report date being pushed back is an indication that the NFLPA has yet to approve the plan the organization sent in.
As for other report dates, quarterbacks and injured players are scheduled to arrive on July 23, per the NFL’s memo, with all other players following on July 28. Given the uncertainty of the current situation, it remains to be seen whether the Patriots and other teams meet those reporting dates.