Patriots, Rest Of NFL Will Not Hold Joint Practices Ahead Of 2020 Season


Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia won’t get to share a practice field this August.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday distributed a memo to each of the 32 teams informing them that joint training camp practices will not be permitted ahead of the 2020 season as the league prepares to end its COVID-19 shutdown.

Clubs also will be barred from traveling to outside venues for their training camps. This regulation won’t impact the New England Patriots, who’ve held camp at Gillette Stadium since the early days of the Belichick era, but will radically alter plans for teams like the Dallas Cowboys, who typically hold theirs in Oxnard, Calif.

“The only exception will be if a club can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of a joint NFL-NFLPA medical task force, that it would not be feasible to conduct (camp) at their club facility,” the memo read.

The NFLPA “was strongly in favor of these two decisions,” per Goodell.

In a typical offseason, the Patriots and Detroit Lions likely would have teamed up for a week of joint practices ahead of their preseason opener at Gillette Stadium, as they did last summer in Michigan. Patricia, Detroit’s head coach, previously served under Belichick as New England’s defensive coordinator.

The Patriots also practiced with Mike Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans last year and held multiple rounds of joint practices ahead of the 2017 (Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans) and 2016 (Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints) seasons.

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Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images

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