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Report: Teams could begin training camp as early as mid-July

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Albert Breer says teams could begin training camp a couple of weeks earlier than usual.

NFL: AUG 03 49ers Training Camp Photo by Kara Hoffman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said in his MMQB article Monday morning that the NFL is “floating” the idea of training camps opening in mid-July rather than July 28, which would be the normal starting date based on the NFL’s recently passed CBA:

BREER: The new CBA dictates that teams can report 47 days before their first regular-season game (a change from the old 14-day rule), meaning the report date for most teams would be July 28. Meanwhile, the joint committee on health and safety is recommending an acclimation period before camp, given the lack of football activity these guys have had, of at least a week or two (and up to three). The good news is, the new CBA builds in a five-day acclimation period. The bad news is players may need more than that under these unique circumstances. So the league has floated the idea of an earlier report date closer to the middle of July, to give players a better chance to get their feet underneath them.

ESPN’s Mike Wells covers the Colts, and he tweeted Indianapolis is tentatively scheduled to have training camp July 28, essentially confirming Breer’s statements above.

Breer also said a league source told him that “minicamps are dead.” The logistic hurdles to make minicamp work between June 26—which is the end of the virtual offseason program the league negotiated with the NFLPA, and the beginning of training camp—are too much to overcome to stage minicamps. Breer believes the union wouldn’t object if the NFL and NFLPA agree to let training camp begin sooner as they won’t want it the players subjected to the rigors of training camp without an extended acclimatization period. An earlier training camp would allow teams to let their players east into the routine as well as catch up on what they’ve missed on the field in such a unique offseason. The NFL and NFLPA are working out details as to when a finalized date for training camp will happen.

Separately, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the NFL and NFLPA are discussing the possibility of certain players — such as rookies, and veterans who changed teams and need physicals — returning to club facilities on a limited basis before June 26 That would help teams getting players back from injury or surgery in the building earlier than the opening of camp so medical staff can get an updated evaluation and the players could get back on a treatment schedule.