Report: NFL to slash preseason schedule in half

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 3:41 PM MDT
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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamper the return of American sports leagues.

On Wednesday, a number or reports surfaced that the NFL is planning to shorten the 2020 preseason from four games to just two. According to ESPN and ProFootballTalk, weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason will be axed, giving teams more time to prepare during training camp.

The Denver Broncos were initially scheduled to host the San Francisco 49ers week 1 of the preseason August 15. Their week 4 matchup would send them to Arizona September 3, but with the recent news it appears both games will be canceled. According to ESPN's report, the first week of preseason games won't be played until August 20-24. Under the revised schedule, The Broncos would host the Chicago Bears that week, and travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams the following weekend.

ESPN also cited an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA that teams needed more time to get back into football shape this offseason. Without open practice facilities for players, most athletes are working out from their homes solo or in small groups.

This is the second wave of cancellations to hit the NFL due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL called off the annual Hall of Fame game (typically the opening competition of the preseason) that was scheduled to be played August 8. No adjustments to the NFL regular season have been made at this time, and the league has been tight-lipped on the decision to allow fans in the stands when games return.

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