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Reports: Patriots Now Have Training Camp Start Date, As NFL Discusses Shortened Preseason

BOSTON (CBS) -- With the coronavirus pandemic still very much an issue, many uncertainties still remain regarding the NFL season in 2020. Yet teams now know when they're expected to begin that season in earnest this summer.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that all NFL teams will open up 47 days prior to their Week 1 season opener.

For the Patriots, that date will be July 28. Twenty-nine other teams will open training camp on that same date, while the Chiefs and Texans -- the two teams playing in the NFL season opener on Thursday, Sept. 10 -- will begin training camp on July 25.

"This makes the training camp reporting date more uniform across the league. It used to be much more scattered, with teams reporting on various days over a weeklong period," Schefter reported. "There even used to be business departments that would push teams to start camp on a Wednesday so they could schedule the first padded practice four days later on a weekend, so as to best appeal to fans."

This year, fans are unlikely to be able to attend sessions, at least not by the thousands, as is typically the case for many teams.

In a separate story, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that the league and players' union are discussing the possibility of shortening the 2020 preseason.

Such a move would not be a surprise, as joint practice sessions have already been banned by the league in an effort to limit teams traveling during the summer. Eliminating a game or two for each team would work significantly toward that goal, as well.

The league released a memo this past week outlining all of the protocols that must be followed to help prevent and limit any potential infection or spread of COVID-19 within team facilities. Those protocols include masks being worn inside the facility, as well as reconfigured locker rooms to give every player six feet of space.

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