Eagles set to press on despite concerns about COVID-19

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson
Photo credit Ed Benkin/KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Eagles are set to open training camp this week. It will be a training camp like no other.

The players are to report to the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday, and their first workout is set for Wednesday. 

When the Eagles arrive in South Philadelphia, the camp will operate under a long list of restrictions, including player distancing, regular coronavirus testing, and workouts set further apart. 

Coach Doug Pederson says he knows everyone in the organization needs to stay safe, and he is hopeful that football will go on as scheduled in 2020.

"It gives us hope," Pederson said. "It gives us excitement moving forward. We understand that the virus is real and we do everything we can in our powers to stay safe, protecting ourselves when we're in the building, protecting our players, and it's unfortunate what has happened."

As Pederson spoke Monday, baseball's Miami Marlins were dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 among their ranks after a weekend playing against the Phillies a block away from the NovaCare Complex. 

Pederson said he knows the NFL will be monitoring the current crisis in baseball as they move forward with the start of training camp.

"I know the guys that are higher up than me are watching that," Pederson said. "Our doctors and medical team at the NFL, they are watching all this stuff.  They are in constant conversations and constant meetings and they will have a plan.  They will be prepared.  It's my job to get the team prepared, and then obviously their job to make sure that we're all safe and doing the right thing.​"

Pederson will try to prepare his team as best he can with the hopes of no outbreaks in Philadelphia or anywhere else around the league. As of now, football is scheduled to be played, and Pederson must cut his roster down to 53 players by early September.

His job, as head coach, Pederson said, "is to put our guys in competitive situations to see what they can do and then do the best we can at the end of training camp to come up with the 53."

For now, the league can only hope there will actually be a season for 53 players on each team. Meanwhile, Pederson and his players have no choice but to take things one day at a time and hope everyone remains healthy.

"We do have a lengthy set of protocols that we have to abide by," Pederson said.  "This is our new normal right now, working in these conditions as probably most of you working in your conditions, as well.  It's something that we are going to embrace.  We are going to make it a positive. It is what it is, and we're going to embrace it and move forward​."