Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) greets Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) following an NFL preseason football game in Denver in August. Its preseason wills cut and push the beginning of exhibition play back so teams have more time to train after an digital offseason made necessary from the coronavirus pandemic, a person with knowledge of the decision told the Associated Press.
The NFL will reduce its own preseason in half and push back the start of exhibition play so teams have time to train after an all virtual offseason made necessary from the coronavirus pandemic, a person with knowledge of the decision told the Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity since the league hasn’t declared that the preseason will be cut from four games to 2.
The pandemic forced teams to run their entire offseason programs via videoconference. Thus, teams will be gathering together for the very first time when training camps open July 28.
Minus the usual minicamps, on-field clinics and on site weight training from April to June, players’ conditioning will not be what it generally is. So, eliminating the first week of preseason games Aug. 13-16 provides them more time to ratchet up their football fitness.
Teams will now play exhibitions Aug. 20-24 and Aug. 27-31 during what were originally the second and third months of exhibition play with all 32 teams playing home and one road game.
Many of these games will stay the same as originally scheduled although some matchups because second slate might have to be changed so every team gets a game at home.
The display finales on Sept. 3 were also scrapped, providing teams more time to prepare for the regular season, which opens Sept. 10 with Houston at Kansas City.
There are no alterations to the regular season program.
The team continues to draw protocols, not just for COVID-19 reduction but also for ramping up practices during the first couple weeks of training camp.
The annual Hall of Fame Game pitting Pittsburgh and Dallas on Aug. 6 was recently scrapped as the induction ceremonies were pushed back to 2021.