In an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, NFL teams are likely to bring fewer than the regular 90 players they ordinarily bring to training camp whenever it begins, per league sources.
One source said he believed it’s likely that teams will go to camp with 80-man rosters, and another source said it’s “definitely not 90.” A third league source said he has “heard lots of discussion about 75 players potentially instead of 90”, especially with the reduction in preseason games and teams not needing as many players for camp as normal.
There also are increasing questions from league sources about whether camp can start on time with the number of coronavirus cases around the country spiking.
The NFL also is considering expanding its practice squads to 16-20 players in the event of a coronavirus outbreak; if there were one, teams would have a deeper stash of players to activate to play games.
But the league and NFLPA are trying to figure out the right number of players each team can bring to camp, and that appears to be between 75 or 80. One plan being further discussed is splitting the roster into two groups and have each practice at a different time, no matter how many players are allowed to report to camp.
Again, questions persist regarding protocols, and they are not going away anytime soon. But in an abnormal year, the league is deciding on which abnormal measures it needs to deploy to combat a pandemic.