It’s a confusing time in the NFL, for a variety of reasons. Technically, the camps opened on Tuesday (with the exception of the Chiefs and Texans, who opened three days earlier). Technically, no field work is allowed for the 30 unnamed Chiefs and Texans teams until Monday, August 3, when the acclimatization period begins.
This has prompted some to cry foul over a video on Wednesday showing quarterbacks of the Buccaneers and other players throwing passes in t-shirts and shorts at the Tampa Bay training ground. According to the NFL, however, it’s allowed.
In most NFL towns, quarterbacks and rookies showed up earlier than the rest of the squad. In Tampa, Brady and the rookies arrived on July 23, five days before the veterans. So Brady, the other quarterbacks and the rookie receivers were eligible to be on the field starting Wednesday, to begin their formal acclimatization period.
During the acclimatization period, only quarterbacks, receivers, kickers, punters and long snappers are allowed to be on the field with soccer balls. This is what the video posted by the Buccaneers reveals.
On Monday, veteran receivers will be allowed to join Brady and the other quarterbacks, if the receivers generate three negative COVID-19 tests before that date. (All players can be on the court for a maximum of 60 minutes of walking sessions during the acclimatization period.)
None of this means Brady has always made smart and prudent COVID-19 decisions in recent weeks – he didn’t, until he arrived unmasked and not socially distant last Thursday. That said, Wednesday’s video does not prove any type of protocol violation.