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NFL rookies could report for training camp on July 19th

NFL Combine - Day 4 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

NFL training camps are scheduled to start on July 28, but Pro Football Talk is reporting that rookies could join their teams sooner:

Per a league source, the NFL’s proposed calendar has rookies reporting for a coronavirus test on July 19, with rookie conditioning beginning two days later, on July 21. That same day, injured veterans would have their coronavirus test, with conditioning for injured veterans starting on July 23. Veterans would be tested for the virus on July 26, with veteran conditioning starting along with the launch of camp on July 28.

This move makes sense as rookies will need more time to get up to speed on the playbook and the life of an NFL player in general, so getting them into the building a week before everyone else would be a big boost. The San Francisco 49ers have two first-round picks, so Brandon Aiyuk and Javon Kinlaw could get a crash course before they are thrown into the fire.

From a coronavirus line of thinking, this would allow a large group of players to report before an even bigger pool of players reports to team facilities. The rookies generally account for about 20 or so players between the draft class and the undrafted free agents. College football programs have brought back players in waves over the past few weeks. Nobody knows if it’ll work, but it’s worth a shot. Giving rookies a ten-day head start before the veterans come in would help spread the players returning from different areas and help prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus.