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Art Rooney II: 'As we sit here today, our plan is to have training camp in Latrobe'

(Photo by Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

After not having training camp at Saint Vincent College for the first time since 1965 last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steelers are planning on having training camp in Latrobe again this summer.

"As we sit here today, our plan is to have training camp in Latrobe. We still have a ways to go to get there, but I think there's a pretty good chance that's going to be able to happen," team president Art Rooney II told Bob Labriola of "We're still hopeful we're going to have some form of offseason program, and it's probably not going to start on time but I think it's important particularly for the young players that we get back to having an offseason program and then a full training camp and preseason games. I think we need to have that to help the young players continue to develop."

Vaccines are being distributed now, but there's still a long way to go. President Joe Biden said last week he expects the United States to return to normal by Christmas. Four days later, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease doctor, agreed with Biden by adding that the United States will be "approaching a degree of normality" in the fall or winter.

Rooney didn't specify whether they plan on having fans at Saint Vincent College for training camp this summer, but judging by Biden's and Fauci's comments, if the country isn't in a complete state of normality by late July when training camp starts, it would be hard to imagine the Steelers hosting fans at training camp.

Players, coaches and staff were tested every day during the 2020 season, so I'd imagine that would be the case again in 2021, and with that likely being the situation, returning to Saint Vincent College for training camp could be worked out. The league and the country know a lot more about the virus now than they did last year when training camp was not held in Latrobe. I just don't know if fans will be allowed with the entire United States population likely to not be vaccinated by late July. Regardless, Rooney is optimistic that the Steelers will continue tradition and hold training camp at Saint Vincent College this summer.

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