Training Camp Memo Sent to All 32 Teams

Ed Kracz

The NFL is proceeding with its plan to open training camps late next month, per a memo from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to all 32 teams on Tuesday.

“As you know we have been working closely with Dr. Sills and outside associates, and with the NFLPA, to develop protocols that will facilitate a safe return to play and practice for the players, coaches, and football personnel when camps open next month,” said Goodell in the memo.

The memo revealed the next two steps to ensure that happening.

The first is that all 32 teams must train at their home facility. 

That doesn’t impact the Eagles much since they left their training camp fields at Lehigh University behind them in 2013 when Chip Kelly became the head coach and have never looked back as Doug Pederson enters his fifth season as the team’s man in charge.

The Eagles have trained at their South Philly NovaCare Complex ever since.

It does impact 10 teams that continue to train away from their home facility, including the in-state Pittsburgh Steelers, which usually go to St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., site of their training camp for 54 consecutive years.

The only exception is if a team can demonstrate that it would not be feasible to conduct camp at their club facility.

The second part of the memo said that there will be no combined practices between two teams leading up to any preseason game.

The Eagles and Ravens worked out together in Philly last year in the days leading up to their preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles also had combined practices with the New England Patriots in back-to-back summers – one in Philly, the other at New England’s place.

This year, the Eagles’ preseason games are scheduled for Aug. 13 at the Colts, Aug. 20 at the Dolphins then concludes with two home games, against the Patriots on Aug. 27 and the Jets on Sept. 3.

Goodell added in the memo that these circumstances are only in place for 2020 and, if things are back to normal next summer, teams can have combined practices and return to different training camp venues should they so desire.

The NFL and the NFLPA continue to work together to ensure a safe return.

“THE NFLPA was strongly in favor of these two decisions, which were made to limit exposure risks by avoiding the need for clubs to clean and maintain two facilities,” Goodell’s memo read, “by limiting the need for players and club staffs to travel to another location.”

Meanwhile, The Eagles are allowed to return to their facility on Friday, when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is expected to make Philadelphia yellow after months of being in the red, stay-at-home order for the past couple of months to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coaches and players won’t be able to return at that time, but other staff and personnel can, and there are about 50-60 Eagles employees expected back at NovaCare Complex.