The NFL hopes to start on time for training camps.

The NFL has advised its teams to expect a start on time for training camps next month, league executive vice president / general counsel Jeff Pash said Thursday.

For most teams, that means players will report by July 28 at the latest to begin preparing for the 2020 season.

Speaking on a conference call after a virtual meeting of league owners, Pash said there are “active discussions” about what will happen after that point.

The Hall of Fame Game, the league’s first annual preseason game originally scheduled for August 8, has already been canceled by the Professional Soccer Hall of Fame due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The four-week preseason may be shortened as teams focus on keeping their staff healthy for the start of the regular season on September 10.

“We hope to have a resolution relatively soon on that,” said Pash, “and we will advise the clubs at that time.”

The league released a 13-page document earlier this month detailing the methods and protocols for maintaining social distance and minimizing the spread of the virus at club facilities, where each team will conduct training camp this year. But Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said the league has yet to complete its next step, which is to create a coronavirus testing, screening and treatment protocol.

Sills, however, promised that the NFL and the NFL Players Association would establish “a very ambitious testing program, which will try to keep everyone in the team environment as safe as possible. That includes not only the players, but also the coaches, staff and everyone who will be together. “

During the conference call, Sills answered several questions about group player practice this month, led primarily by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. The players are not violating NFL policy because they are working alone and away from the team’s facilities. But the NFLPA advised players last week to avoid such training. Sills did not mention Brady or the Buccaneers in particular, but said the NFL agreed to the NFLPA notice.

“The NFLPA and the NFL are in the exact same place,” said Sills, “that we want what is the safest possible environment for all of our constituents, be they players, coaches, coaches, medical personnel. [or] anyone in that team environment. We will work very hard to educate everyone on the steps that we collectively believe will be most effective in reducing risk for everyone.

“Once again, it’s about reducing risk and trying to mitigate risk. We know we can’t eliminate risk. We will work a lot hand in hand with the player association. This is where everyone in that team’s environment goes to share the The same risks, but they will also share the same responsibilities with each other, which means that everyone will depend on all the other members of that team’s environment, to do the best they can to implement these measures and support themselves and the members of their household. as safe as possible during the course of the season. “

In other NFL news:

  • The NFL has yet to finalize a policy to allow fans to enter stadiums during games, and could leave those decisions to individual teams. Regardless, the owners approved a plan Thursday to cover seats closest to the field at each stadium, as part of a broader plan to keep players and coaches physically away from anyone in the stands. The teams will be allowed to sell advertising for the tarps, said Renie Anderson, NFL executive vice president of NFL associations and director of revenue.

  • The league is tracking the number of positive coronavirus tests among league staff across the country. Sills declined to provide the totals to date.

  • NFL teams will receive anti-racism training in mid-July, according to Troy Vincent, executive vice president of NFL football operations.

  • The league is developing programs and working with the NFLPA, the Players Coalition, and others (including RISE and the US Vote Foundation) that will focus on education, registration, and activation. The goal is for all NFL associates (players, coaches, executives, staff) to register to vote, vote, and inspire others to vote. The NFL will support players who have plans or programs to do the same in their communities.

  • The NFL is discussing roster rule changes that would accommodate players who are unavailable for games due to positive tests for coronavirus. No final decisions have been made, Pash said.

ESPN NFL member Adam Schefter contributed to this story.