Today is the first day of training camp for the Carolina Panthers, and it’s scheduled to begin with daily COVID-19 testing for all players. They will be tested on three of their first four days in the team facilities and then daily thereafter.
As veterans across the league report to training camp, here’s a look at the first six days. pic.twitter.com/NSvGnCm75F— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 28, 2020
It is assumed that clubs are getting their test results back in the same or by the next day, as part of the protocol requires test results from day 4 of camp to be negative for players to participate in certain equipment fitting and physical examination activities that cannot be done at a distance.
If a player tests positive, per SI’s Peter King, then they have to be absent from team facilities/activities for ten days. The return of a player who displayed symptoms has to be approved by team and league medical officials, whereas asymptomatic players can return sooner than ten days if they can show two negative tests. That means players will have to miss at least one game with a positive test or a significant chunk of their offseason program depending on when they test positive. A full ten day absence would mean missing at least two games or almost a quarter of training camp—opening day is only 42 days away.
How will all of this affect Matt Rhule’s first NFL roster? Who knows. We hardly have any idea what the Carolina Panthers would have looked like at this point in a non-COVID-19 version of 2020. We obviously have less of one right now. An onslaught of testing in the coming days promises to shed some light on how this year will, at the very least, start.