Peter King: NFL could stage ‘Midnight Madness’ to kick off training camps on July 27th

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Jeff Risdon
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Circle the date of Tuesday, July 27th in dark pencil. That’s the day when the Detroit Lions and most of the rest of the NFL project to return to the practice fields for the start of 2021 training camp.

Peter King of NBC Sports reported the date in this week’s Football Morning In America and backed up the projection with some smart piecing together of the NFL’s new-look schedule,

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement calls for teams to open camp 47 days before their first regular-season games, and so 28 of the 32 teams could (and I say could, because this is not final yet) open training camp on the same date—on or about Tuesday, July 27. (The two teams playing the Thursday night opener, plus the two teams playing the Hall of Fame game, would likely start a few days earlier.)

King notes the idea of “Midnight Madness”, the traditional nationwide start to the college basketball practice schedule, is a concept the NFL would like to emulate.

With the move to a 17-game schedule, there will be no fourth preseason game, so training camp takes on extra importance for the younger players and those engaged in position battles.

The Lions have indicated they believe training camp will be held in a less restrictive manner than during 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic severely limited player interactions and group work. It is still unclear if fans will be able to attend.

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