Potential snafu with Terrell Owens' practice protocol
NFL spokesman: Cowboys doing waiting period correctly, don't know about Seattle and T.O.
By Clarence Hill | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
RENTON -- When Terrell Owens took the practice field for the first time on Wednesday, he was wearing shoulder pads.
And while that might seem like it should be expected given the fact -- you know -- he was going to play football, it may have been too soon according to the restrictions outlined in the NFL's collective-bargaining agreement as detailed in a report from Texas.
The report pointed out the protocol the Cowboys have followed after signing a player during training camp, their first-day activities restricted to a physical exam and meetings. The second- and third-day, the player is allowed to wear a helmet, but not full pads.
This is an admittedly small nit to pick regarding the process Seattle followed with Owens, but I have followed up with the NFL for clarification.
Update, 1:22 p.m.: League spokesman Greg Aiello responded in an e-mail, providing the practice guidelines: "Players have a 3-day acclimation period during the preseason. Day 1 is for the physical and meetings. Day 2 and 3 the player may participate, but only in helmet and shells or a padded shirt. Day 4 and for the rest of camp is in full pads."
By any measure, the fact Owens was in pads for Wednesday's practice violates that schedule. Whether that's a big deal or not remains to be seen.
Update, 2:41 p.m.: The Seahawks acknowledge that Owens practiced in shoulder pads a day before he should have, according to the CBA guidelines. It was characterized as an inadvertent violation.
Owens was signed Monday, participated in a walk-through Tuesday and according to the CBA guidelines governing acclimation, should not have been in full pads until Thursday at the earliest. However, he practiced in shoulder pads.
No word of a punishment for the violation, if there is any.