Quarterback Tom Brady was among the first to arrive at AdventHealth Training Center for his physical. Both quarterbacks and rookies were allowed inside the building to get their yearly tests ahead of training camp, which consist of a couple of hours being poked and prodded to assess their physical conditions. Offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs was also among those first, living up to his first-round selection this past April in the 2020 NFL Draft.
To enter the building, players had to have two coronavirus tests, 72 hours apart, come back negative, which meant they began that testing process last Thursday in order to fit into the necessary time constraints. Additionally, all Tier 1 & Tier 2 personnel who will be interacting with players were tested along the same timelines.
Though many of the players reporting Monday are new to the Buccaneers, the building does look drastically different even for returning players. With safety precautions and COVID-19 protocols in place, there are one-way hallways, restricted sections of the building and a mask requirement while indoors. All safety measures have been put in place with the aid of the Bucs Infectious Disease Officer Greg Skaggs, who is the Bucs' Director of Athletic Performance, and the help of experts at AdventHealth's Infectious Disease department.
It comes in conjunction with league-wide mandates after a COVID-19 response plan was agreed upon between the NFL and NFLPA just last week. Changes to the 2020 season include the vacation of all four preseason games. Training camp will begin with an acclimatization period from August 3-11, followed by a 'ramp-up period' from August 12-16, before 14 padded practices that must be spread out between August 17 and September 6. There were also additional changes to the number of players on the inflated training camp roster, as well as practice squad changes for the season. To see a more complete list of the agreed-upon conditions, click here.
Veterans and other players are scheduled to report tomorrow for their first round of testing. They'll also have to register two negative tests before being allowed in the building. They will then undergo physicals from August 1 to August 2 and then all players will begin the aforementioned acclimatization period, consisting of mostly strength and conditioning workouts on August 3.