49ers

49ers training camp: Players scheduled to report by July 28 as hurdles remain

49ers

Players are scheduled to report to the 49ers facility as soon as July 21, according to a memo distributed to NFL teams Saturday morning.

Whether or not they actually will remains to be seen.

NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent e-mailed all 32 teams Saturday that rookies on all but two teams would report on July 21, followed by quarterbacks and injured players on July 23. The memo, obtained by NFL Media's Tom Pelissero, said training camps would begin in full on July 28.

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Every team facility has been closed to non-rehabbing players due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 25. Pelissero reported that, until the NFL Players Association approves each team's infectious disease emergency response plans, only 20 players would be allowed in team facilities at a time.

The NFLPA and NFL still need to determine how to absorb the league's potential revenue losses due to the pandemic, with each side yet to agree how long it should affect the salary cap. But, NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith and president JC Tretter said Friday that player-safety issues must be worked out first. Smith said the NFLPA wants players to be tested daily, and the NFLPA's player representatives unanimously voted last month against playing any preseason games.

 

Veteran 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was one of those "no" votes, and he repeatedly has expressed skepticism over the NFL's return-to-play protocols. Sherman tweeted Friday that "[it] will all come out" about the ineffectiveness of the league's plans. The players can still file a grievance over unsafe work conditions if the two sides don't reach an agreement by the time Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans rookies are scheduled to report Monday. 

The 49ers' facility didn't re-open when others around the league did to non-playing personnel, but Santa Clara County's latest local health order said that "professional sports training" is allowed. The same order says the county must follow the stricter of two orders between the county and the state of California, though that shouldn't prevent the 49ers from practicing once they receive county approval.

Multiple professional sports teams have also continued training despite being in counties on the state's coronavirus watchlist, including the A's in Alameda County. Santa Clara County joined the watchlist earlier this week.

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The 49ers ultimately are expected to be allowed to return to their Santa Clara facility, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.

The NFL has preferred dates in mind, but making a schedule is one thing. Agreeing to one with the NFLPA is another entirely.