NFL joint practices: How they work, when they are held

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NFL joint practices: How they work, when they are held originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

There’s no better way to get season-ready than playing real games against other teams in the league.

In the NFL, squads get to partake in joint practices, facing different teams to mimic that game-day feel.

While joint practices are not mandatory, many teams take the opportunity to test out their plays and mentally prepare for the intense competition. 

Some of the teams participating in joint practices this year include the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.

With NFL training camp underway, here’s everything you need to know about joint practices, how they work and when they are held:

How do joint practices work?

Scheduled during training camp, joint practices are usually between teams that have an upcoming preseason game.

While they are not required to happen, joint practices have grown in popularity over the years.

A total of 23 teams will be involved with at least one joint practice session this year while seven squads will be facing two different teams.

Joint practices were canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the advantages of joint practices?

While joint practices are optional for teams, the competition is a great way for players to get a taste of what in-season competition will feel like, running through the intense physical and mental aspects of the game.

Joint practices give teams the chance to run through their playbook and rookies get the opportunity to shake off some early-on jitters before the season begins.

Coaches also get the opportunity to scope out other teams and plan preseason matchups. 

What are the disadvantages of joint practices?

There’s no doubt that partaking in joint practices has its downsides.

For instance, more competition means a greater risk of injury before the season begins.

With the intensity of facing rivals and the hot temperatures of training camp, players can begin to start brawls and fight off frustration.

An example of this is when the Giants and Jets got into a brawl during their joint practice in 2005 that also featured a fight between Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson.

Additionally, joint practices can serve as a disadvantage to some coaches who believe too much of the squad’s playbook will be revealed before the season begins.

When are joint practices held?

Joint practices this year start Aug. 10 and end Aug. 25

Which teams are hosting joint practices?

Teams typically hold joint practices in their city, however, it’s not always at their training facility as some head to nearby college facilities for a change of scenery.

The following teams are hosting joint practices this summer, according to the NFL:

First session

Traveling team

Host team

Location

Aug. 10

Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa, Fla.

Aug. 11

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Englewood, Colo.

Aug. 16

New Orleans Saints

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay, Wis.

Aug. 16

Carolina Panthers

New England Patriots

Foxborough, Mass.

Aug. 17

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Westfield, Ind.

Aug. 17

Dallas Cowboys

Los Angeles Chargers

Costa Mesa, Calif.

Aug. 17

San Francisco 49ers

Minnesota Vikings

Eagan, Minn.

Aug. 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Nashville, Tenn.

Aug. 18

Philadelphia Eagles

Cleveland Browns

Brea, Ohio

Aug. 19

Atlanta Falcons

New York Jets

Florham Park, N.J.

Aug. 23

New England Patriots

Las Vegas

Henderson, Nev.

Aug. 24

Jacksonville Jaguars

Atlanta Falcons

Flowery Branch, Ga.

Aug. 24

Los Angeles Rams

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati, Ohio

Aug. 24

Philadelphia Eagles

Miami Dolphins

Miami Gardens, Fla.

Aug. 24

Arizona Cardinals

Tennessee Titans

Nashville, Tenn.

Aug. 25

New York Jets

New York Giants

East Rutherford, N.J.