The NFL will reduce the preseason from four games once the new collective bargaining agreement talks place, but the league and the players association are in discussions to cut the preseason games a year early — for the upcoming 2020 season. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, multiple team executives have been informed that they could play two preseason games instead of the scheduled four this year.
A shorter preseason would allow for a longer “ramp-up” period for the teams, even if the players report to training camp a week or two earlier than usual. With an extra two weeks to develop game-day protocols and testing amid the coronavirus pandemic, the league would benefit from a shortened preseason.
CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones reported earlier this week the Hall of Fame Game is still scheduled for August 6 with fans in attendance. The 20,000 tickets for the game are sold out. Of course, if the league reduces the preseason they can push the game and the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony back a few weeks.
The NFL will be shortening the preseason in 2021 as a result of the league adding a 17th game to the regular season. Teams will play three preseason games instead of four, with the fourth week turning into a bye. The league will get a glimpse of a shorter preseason in 2020 if both sides approve the cutting of games, a direct result of an unusual offseason.
The league has established new training camp protocols once the players return to team facilities in mid-July. The NFL does plan on starting its regular season on time, but whether fans will be in attendance the second weekend of September is still up in the air.
Fans will find out if the league has a successful preseason, whether it’s shortened or not.