RICHMOND — Sweat seeped through Jay Gruden’s T-shirt as the Redskins head coach took the podium to open training camp. With the heat index cracking a brutal 104 degrees Wednesday afternoon, the continuing wave of warm weather may alter the team’s scheduling as it prepares to begin walk-throughs Thursday morning at 10:35 a.m. and practice at 3 p.m.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Gruden said. “We might have to cut some periods if it gets too hot. Maybe change practice in the mornings.”
Gruden added that they might switch morning walkthroughs and practice times, depending on the weather, and indicated that such changes would be made on a day-by-day basis going forward. The National Weather Service in Richmond says that Wednesday has been the hottest day yet. Temperatures in Richmond should reach 94 degrees Thursday, with a heat index reading of 101 degrees. On Friday, the high will be 89 degrees, with a 40-percent chance of thunderstorms. There is a 40-percent chance of thunderstorms all day Saturday, with an expected high of 91 degrees.
Gruden stressed the importance of staying hydrated in these conditions and said the staff will keep eyes on each individual player. Heat stroke is a serious issue during NFL training camps, one that claimed the life of Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Korey Stringer in 2001.
Severe weather presents another logistical difficulty for the Redskins: Thunderstorms and high winds took out one of the goal posts at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center the evening before camp kicked off.
The post was fixed shortly after discovery Wednesday morning.