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Slowly but surely, the Rams plan to work their way up to full 12-on-12 sessions, but without tackling to the ground.
The initial plan had been to split the 65-man roster into two practice groups, but that’s no longer necessary because provincial health authorities have agreed to new guidelines for football which permit an 80-person hub.
That means the entire team can practise at one time, although the players won’t all be grouped together on the field.
“We’re spacing out,” McConkey explained. “We’re using the out-of-bounds (area), we’re using the end zones. We’re doing the best possible to keep our guys socially distant when they’re not in drills. We’re doing a lot of individual stuff where guys aren’t going to cross with each other. Even the typical head coach breakdown at the end of practice to talk to the guys, we’re not doing that.
“As soon as practice is done, you’re in your position groups and you leave the field and drive home. It’s going to take a little while to get used to, but that’s the new way we’re going to be doing things until we find a vaccine or this thing gets solved.”
The Rams hope to end their practice season with some form of scrimmage against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, who’ve also resumed on-field activities.
McConkey and Huskies head coach Scott Flory are still working through the details to see if it’s feasible.
“We’re brainstorming some ideas of how we can make this happen within the guidelines of our universities and Football Saskatchewan and the health authorities,” he added. “We have to make sure we’re doing things the right way.”