As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the NFL had good and bad news for how it would affect teams’ offseason programs.
A memo from the commissioner allowed all 32 teams to conduct training camp at their team facilities, allowing normalcy for many teams, including the Green Bay Packers. Other teams often traveled to remote sites for their training camps, such as the Dallas Cowboys, and will have to stay near home.
According to NFL.com, the decision was made with the blessing of the NFLPA and was made to limit exposure rates and the need to heavily decontaminate multiple facilities.
“We believe that each of these steps will enhance our ability to protect the health and safety of players and your football staffs and are consistent with a sound approach to risk management in the current environment,” Roger Goodell said.
Part of this decision also means that there will be no joint practices between teams due to the higher potential exposure rate a traveling team could represent. That means the Cleveland Browns, who were scheduled to practice with the Packers in Green Bay, will not be making their visit.
GM Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur were big fans of joint practices, though quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t share the sentiment. The opportunity to face different schemes and practice routines can be extremely helpful for new players adjusting to the NFL, and it also allows teams to practice in a faster, more game-like setting, though there are risks. In joint practices with the Houston Texans last year, tensions ran high and practice was ended early due to the teams’ growing hostility.
Assuming the preseason happens as is currently planned, the Packers will face the Browns on August 22nd at Lambeau Field without any join practices beforehand.Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.