The 2020 NFL preseason is getting slashed.
As the United States continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Pro Football Talk has confirmed that the league is reducing its preseason schedule from four games to two. An official announcement is expected on Thursday.
“The move was driven by two primary factors,” Mike Florio wrote. “First, teams who will be playing preseason games on the road won’t want to move that many people. Second, given that no teams had on-field practice sessions in the offseason, coaches would rather have the extra time to work with their teams, and that will happen if they don’t have to worry about two extra preseason games.”
Games one and four, which usually have minimal playing time for starters, are getting booted from the lineup. That means that the Seattle Seahawks’ preseason schedule, pending any more changes, will be a road game at the Houston Texans and a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Originally, Seahawks at Texans was scheduled for August 22nd and Seahawks vs. Chargers was set for August 27th. There’s no word yet on if we’ll see those dates kept.
This was expected new that’s been discussed for several weeks now, and with cases soaring throughout the country — especially in states that have multiple teams — cutting into the preseason was a near certainty. There’s also a report that the league is reducing its training camp rosters. The NFL does still intend to keep its regular season starting on time.
One thing to note is that the new CBA does allow for a shortening of the preseason starting in 2021, when regular seasons expand to 17 games. It is quite conceivable that the pandemic has led to the end of four preseason games as the standard.