With the NFL and NFLPA seemingly closing in on an agreement to start the 2020 season — and agreements in place on COVID-19 testing and safety protocols — NFL teams are beginning to open up their training camps in earnest this week, close to their original schedules. Although the Green Bay Packers had made the decision in the last 48 hours not to have their rookies show up on Tuesday as planned, the team has only shifted back the report date by a few days.
According to a report from Jim Owczarski of Packersnews.com, the Packers have asked their rookies to report to Lambeau Field on Thursday, two days later than Tuesday’s original report date. This comes following that agreement on testing protocols and with the team’s emergency response plan in the players union’s approval queue. According to the report, the plan must be approved prior to players arriving in the building.
This decision also comes on the heels of the NFL proposing further cutbacks to the preseason schedule. The league reportedly started by proposing eliminating three of the four preseason games over the weekend, then offered the NFLPA a schedule with no preseason games on Monday. The union’s position on exhibition games is complex, with most veteran players seemingly preferring no preseason contests but younger players fighting for roster spots in favor of one game.
As long as the Packers’ plan is approved, the team should be able to have veteran players arrive on schedule next Tuesday, July 28th. The team has announced that any potential preseason games and all practices, including Family Night, will be closed to fans and that the annual Shareholders Meeting will take place virtually.