JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – NFL training camps are scheduled to start later this month but the NFL and its players association have not come to agreements yet on several issues, including the number of games that should be played this preseason.
In a pair of conference calls, the NFL Players Association discussed protocols and concerns surrounding the return to football amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the main topics discussed was the preseason schedule. The NFL moved to cut the schedule in half earlier this week, eliminating the first and fourth games for teams in their schedules. According to the NFL’s plan, the Jaguars would host their only home game against Washington on Aug. 29.
ESPN reported that the NFLPA took that a step farther, voting on a conference call in favor of not playing any preseason games ahead of the 2020 season.
With training camps set to begin later this month, the NFLPA laid out a potential plan for how to prepare players for the season.
• 3 days: medical/equipment
The first stage would be medical physicals for all players reporting to camp. This would last three days.
• 21 days: strength & conditioning
The next 21 days would make up the second stage, a strength and conditioning program to prepare the players for a return to football activity.
• 10 days: unpadded practice
The third stage would resemble OTAs in which players would participate in 10 days of non-contact practices.
• 14 days: practice (maximum of 10 with eight of those in pads)
Things would eventually shift to a 14-day fourth stage that would resemble a traditional training camp before moving into Week 1 of the regular season.
Right now, there’s been no sign that the NFL is ready to scrap the rest of the preseason schedule. It is worth noting that getting rid of the two remaining preseason games would cost teams significant amounts for revenue and preseason games regularly provide some of the highest ratings for the league’s network.