As the clock ticks toward the scheduled start of training camp, there appear to be some who are concerned that date might come later than July 28.
According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have communicated with players that “everything is up in the air,” and that the team “could see things getting pushed back.”
A group of about two dozen rookies are scheduled to report next week, but COVID-19 cases are surging in Florida (coincidentally or not, the state that declared itself open for business for all professional sports), and that could complicate things.
One source said the full-team start date of July 28 “could literally pivot on a dime.”
Of course, the league has projected nothing but confidence in its announced plans, though the NFL is still working with the NFLPA on issues from testing procedures to the economic model.
“As we have stated since the pandemic began, our primary focus is on the health and safety of the public, the players and team personnel,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “We continue to work with the NFL Players Association and our joint medical advisors to mitigate the health risk to everyone associated with the NFL.
“We are developing a comprehensive testing program and have rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everyone inside our football ecosystem. This is based on the collective guidance of public health officials, including the White House task force, the CDC, infectious disease experts, and other sports leagues. We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season.”
The Dolphins have also told season ticket holders to expect reduced capacity at games this year, if there are fans at all. Their Florida neighbors in Jacksonville have announced that they’d bring in no more than 25 percent of capacity.