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Bills training camp far from ordinary during COVID-19 pandemic

Safety will be a big priority. There are some changes in logistics, but also in terms of personal conduct and coronavirus prevention practices.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Bills have started training camp, but instead of being in Pittsford, like usual, the COVID-19 pandemic has kept the team in Western New York.

They will be preparing for the fall season at their facilities in Orchard Park, and safety will be a big priority.

With the training camp now underway at the Bills' complex in Orchard Park, obviously there are some changes in logistics, but also in terms of personal conduct and COVID prevention practices.

For weeks now the Bills have been using the NFL guidelines based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to try and head off any COVID clusters and still allow for training for the upcoming season. 

Distancing requirements are in place for everything, such as the locker rooms that players and staff access, and movements around the training facilities and overall complex.

Of course, the Bills did have five positive test results last week, and they shut down training camp entirely that day.

General Manager Brandon Beane says a shutdown could happen again to protect the players and everyone else.

"Let's just send everybody home. Let another round of tests come in and we'll make sure we're good. Cause we're trying to take the long view similar to how we're trying to build this team. You know as much as we wanna be out there every day, we'd rather lose one day or two days then lose 10 to 14 ... you know half our team something like that."

Beane went on to say, "Everyone's responsibility is to police this thing. And we have contact tracers on. We get a little ... it'll turn red if I'm within six feet of someone. It lets me know you're too close.

"And we're asking each other to hold each other accountable. That's me included. If I screw up and get too close in to talk to Coach McDermott about something, somebody should yell at us." 

"And we put people in place, different positions to kinda inspect, whether it's on the practice field, in the weight room. We're trying to do our best with it. It's also a huge responsibility." 

The players were also told to be smart when they leave here and go home, being careful who they're around and getting contact-free meals to prevent the spread of infection.