The NFL Players’ Association remains opposed to playing any exhibition games before the regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Multiple media firms on Friday reported that during a call on Thursday, the union’s board of representatives voted unanimously to recommend that the NFL play no pre-season games.
ESPN reported that it was unclear whether the NFL would consider the recommendation.
NFL Network said that the union is focused on a slow ramp-up of activity that does not rush players into action.
Per the report, their proposal would include three weeks of strength and conditioning, then 10 days of unpadded practices without contact and then two weeks of contact practices, with a maximum of 10 practices — eight padded — in that span. Week 1 of the regular season would follow.
Most teams are scheduled to report to training camp on July 28, with rookies and quarterbacks potentially reporting the week before. The regular season is scheduled to begin on Sept. 10 with Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans. Other teams are to begin play on Sept. 13.
The pandemic has forced teams to conduct their entire off-season programs via videoconference, so they will be gathering together for the first time when the training camps open.
Teams are expected to bring smaller rosters to training camp instead of the typical 90-man roster.
Reports earlier this week said that the NFL would reduce the pre-season from four games per team to two, following the cancelation of the Aug. 6 Hall of Fame Game.
However, additional reports emerged that the union had yet to sign off on playing any games.
NFL Network reported that the league believes it has the right to determine the length of the pre-season, but the union does not agree with that position.
According to multiple reports this week, the NFL could fine players who do not follow health and safety regulations, many of which were being discussed between players and the league in a call on Friday.
Additional reporting by AP
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