Report: Two Preseason Games to be Cut
The Tennessee Titans – like most other NFL teams – no longer use the fourth preseason game as preparation for the regular season.
In that sense, the league’s decision to cut the 2020 preseason in half with the elimination of the first and fourth games is not that big of a deal. ProFootballTalk reported the development Tuesday afternoon.
The Titans consequently will lose a road game against Washington and a home game against Chicago. The latter was to be the final contest before the start of the regular season.
The move was driven by two primary factors. 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.
In 2019, Tennessee concluded the preseason against the Bears in Chicago. None of the starters on offense or defense played in that contest. In all, 44 players – just shy of half the roster at that time – sat out. Logan Woodside played the entire way at quarterback, and cornerback Kareem Orr, who was not on the Week 1 roster, was the leading tackler.
The loss of two preseason games further impacts what already has been an unusual offseason. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams did not have any of the one-field work that typically takes places in April, May and June. Instead, teams went through a “virtual offseason” that focused on mental preparation through meetings and other online activities.
There was speculation that the league would allow players to report early for the start of training camp to try to make up for some of that lost time. Instead, the NFL recently said it plans to have training camps open as originally scheduled.
“It’s going to be important that we focus on fundamentals, making sure that we don’t just gloss over the fundamentals when we get to camp because the (part of the offseason) allows for some fundamental football without pads during the spring,” coach Mike Vrabel said recently. “Those are things that I’ve been thinking about. … [When] everything gets tough, you have to rely on fundamentals. So, I’ll be conscious of that to making sure that we don’t gloss over that.”