Report: NFL To Cut Preseason To Two Weeks
The NFL is planning to cut the preseason in half, from four games to two, as part of a larger plot for the league to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
ESPN reported Wednesday the NFL is cancelling Weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason schedule. Last week, the league also cancelled the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 8.
To mitigate the risk against COVID-19, players will be reporting to training camp later than usual on July 28. With that in mind, it makes sense to push back the first preseason game a couple weeks to Aug. 20-24. According to ESPN, the second week of the preseason will now take place from Aug. 27-31.
With this new schedule, the Atlanta Falcons will visit the Buffalo Bills on Aug. 21 and then host the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 28 as their two preseason games.
While fewer preseason games means less unnecessary travel for NFL players and coaches, the main reason for cutting the preseason in half is to give players more time to prepare for the first preseason game after an unusual offseason.
The NFL and NFLPA has been discussing cutting the preseason to two games for several weeks. While the decision to finally go through with that plan will help fight COVID-19, it could have negative ramifications for this season and 2021. Players on the roster bubble during the preseason will not have as many game opportunities to prove they belong in the league this year as they normally do. Furthermore, rookies won't have as many game repetitions to prepare for their first season.
With two fewer preseason weeks, the 2021 salary cap could also be affected since there are fewer opportunities for teams to make revenue.
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