Tentative Date for Seahawks, NFL Training Camps Set
As several professional sports leagues move towards resuming or starting seasons amid a pandemic, the NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to a plan for players on the Seahawks and all 31 other teams to report for training camp on July 28. Rookies and veterans are expected to arrive at the same time.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the two sides "are still negotiating what camp will look like and how the protocols will be handled." League officials will hold a virtual meeting with owners on Thursday, providing more information on how training camps will operate along with discussing other important topics such as social justice programs and workplace diversity.
The NFL has already informed teams they will be required to host camp at their own facilities, which won't affect the Seahawks, who already hold their camp at the VMAC in Renton, WA each summer. Joint practices with other teams have also been banned, but Seattle hasn't partaken in these in the past under coach Pete Carroll either.
Heading towards camp, NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer released a statement advising players to halt group workouts and practice sessions as COVID-19 cases spike in multiple states around the country. Still, despite this recommendation, players such as Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson have posted videos of on-field work on social media this week.
Whether or not football will be played this fall remains unknown. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated earlier this month that he believes it will be difficult to pull it off unless the players are kept in a bubble. The NBA will be testing such a system in Orlando next month.
"Unless players are essentially in a bubble - insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day - it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall," Fauci said on CNN. "If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year."
As things stand currently, NFL officials are pushing forward with hopes of conducting a full regular season, but significant changes are already being implemented to the preseason. The league officially canceled the Hall of Fame game between the Steelers and Cowboys on Thursday - which was scheduled for August 6 - and axing more exhibition games league-wide remains a strong possibility.
For now, the Seahawks are scheduled to open their preseason at CenturyLink Field against the Raiders on August 13. With one exhibition game already canceled, however, this schedule is subject to change over the next several weeks.