While the Seahawks could ask their rookies to report for training camp on Tuesday, that appears unlikely to happen as the league and the NFL Players Association continue to work out details on testing and other matters related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Seahawks, instead, are waiting until all issues are sorted out before setting report dates.
Seattle’s rookies were scheduled to report Tuesday, as were 29 other teams around the league. But some teams announced Monday they are moving their report dates back as the league and the union continue to iron things out.
That could mean a delay of only a day or two as the league and the NFLPA made some significant progress in talks Monday. However, it remained unclear exactly when Seattle’s rookies will report with the team making no official announcement one way or the other.
By league rule, quarterbacks and injured players can report Thursday and the entire team can report July 28.
The league and the players, though, did make some significant headway Monday.
As reported by NFL Media, the league’s official website, the league and players agreed that players “will be tested every day for the first two weeks of training camp.” Players will likely need more than one negative test before being allowed in team facilities.
As NFL Media reported: “At the two-week mark, the rate of positive tests for those tested — players, coaches and staff who are in close contact with the football team — will be examined and if the rate of positive tests is below five percent, testing will move to every other day.”
Also agreed to is a protocol in which players will be tested on the first and fourth days of camp, with two days of remote education in between. As NFL Media reported: “The idea behind this protocol is that waiting another day will aid in capturing the virus as it incubates. Therefore, veteran players who report in July would get a physical no sooner than Aug. 1.”
In other words — and it probably hardly needs to be stated — this will not be the usual opening to training camp even when it does open.
Among other issues the league and players are still sorting out is exactly how training camp will work and how many preseason games will be played.
Players do not want any preseason games, while the league proposed there be one, in the time slot of what would have been the third preseason game. However, a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter later in the day stated the league had proposed there be no preseason games, which could go a long way toward getting an agreement between the players and the league done quickly.
Players also want an acclimation period that would begin with 21 days of strength and conditioning and 10 days of non-padded practices before putting on pads. That’s in part to try to mitigate for injuries since players have done no on-field work since the end of last season, with offseason programs having all been done virtually.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier this month he would err on the side of delaying the start of training camp to assure that everything is in place and players feel safe about returning.
“Whatever we need to do to do this right is what I hope we do,” Carroll said during an interview on ESPN 710 Seattle with host John Clayton on July 10. “If we’ve got to slow down a little bit to get started, that would be OK. There (are) a lot of unsettled issues right now between the league and the players.”