The National Football League’s preseason schedule could be reduced from the traditional four games per team to two in order to allow for a longer “ramp-up” period to the 2020 regular season.
According to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL and NFL Players Association are discussing the issue in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, though nothing has been finalized.
Last month, the NFL released its 2020 game schedule. But the league is still proceeding cautiously amid the ongoing public health crisis. League commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the NFL “will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary.”
The NFL preseason is set to begin with the Hall of Fame Game, between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on August 6. At present, the game is scheduled to go ahead as planned, as is the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony for August 6-8. A final decision has not been made, however.
On June 10, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton reopened to the public for the first time since March. Several health and safety guidelines are in place for visitors and employees.
As part of a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement that was agreed between the NFL and players’ union in March, a 17-game regular season can be introduced as soon as the 2021 season. This move is widely expected to reduce the preseason schedule to reduce overall wear and tear on the players.