For those who spend August watching preseason NFL games to get ready for the real thing, there’s some bad news.
NFL Media reported Tuesday that the NFLPA told its players there will be no preseason games in 2020. On Monday the NFL, under pressure after a social media blitz by players, offered the union no preseason games this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The union reportedly accepted that offer on Tuesday.
That means the earliest we’ll see a live NFL football game is Sept. 10, when the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans are scheduled to start the regular season. Assuming that happens on time.
The NFL seemed dug in on holding two preseason games until last weekend, when players put pressure on the league through social media messages. The players wanted zero preseason games, and the owners gave in. That makes sense considering there likely won’t be fans in the stands anyway.
It is detrimental to the players on the bottom of the depth chart trying to make rosters. Undrafted players won’t have a chance to impress their teams in game situations or put something on film for the other 31 teams. But it’s an unusual year in many ways, and the players pushed to eliminate the preseason citing safety concerns.
The lack of a preseason could lead to some early-season rust from teams, especially combined with the offseason programs being eliminated, but players will still have a chance to get acclimated in training camp. The NFL preseason is a staple of the summer for football fans, but like most things in 2020, everything is different this year.
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