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NFL training camps still on original schedule for late July

By The Associated Press

The NFL still plans to hold training camps on time beginning in late July, though contingency plans are in place.

Hours after the league canceled the Hall of Fame game that kicks off the preseason, the 32 team owners on Thursday were updated on a variety of issues, many dealing with working through the coronavirus pandemic. Most notably, according to NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, the owners were told about plans to fully reopen team facilities for training camp next month.

“The clubs have been advised that training camps are expected to open on the normal schedule,” Pash said. “The dates set forth in the collective bargaining agreement, for most clubs that would be July 28. Obviously they can bring in rookies and certain other players before that.

“The preseason number of games, we’re in active discussions with the players association on those issues, and will continue at that and expect to have some resolution relatively soon and will advise the clubs at that time.”

Earlier Thursday, the league and the Pro Football Hall of Fame canceled the opening preseason game between Dallas and Pittsburgh set for Aug. 6. The hall’s induction ceremonies set for Aug. 8, and for mid-September for a special centennial class, have been moved to August 2021, when the Cowboys and Steelers will play in the game.

Team facilities were closed in late March due to the pandemic and have been reopened to limited personnel. No players other than those rehabilitating injuries are allowed at those facilities.

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, noted that the league and union are looking into the use of personal protective equipment by players. That includes modifications to the helmet that may provide additional risk reduction.

“Obviously we have to think about any potential unintended consequences of that modification. So a lot of work is still being done on that,” he said.

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