This marks a striking, but also unsurprising, turnaround in league thinking since the end of March when NFL executive vice president and general counsel Jeff Pash said he “plans to have a full season “and” the same way “. as in previous years. Since then, Commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league is ready to make changes because the coronavirus pandemic has left many professional leagues around the world, including the NFL, with an uncertain future.
Schedules are expected to be released early next month and include the standard list of 16 games and 17 weeks, but will allow flexibility if needed.
One version would delay the start of the season by five weeks while delaying the Super Bowl, currently scheduled for February 7, 2021 in Tampa, by three weeks.
Two weeks of early season games could be postponed until the end of the season, while a third week would feature two opponents on the same weeks off. This would eliminate one week off from each team.
It is not known if these ideas have been discussed with the players’ union. The two parties recently ratified a new collective agreement during the 2030 season.
Another change would be to get rid of the frivolous Pro Bowl, which takes place on the weekend between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.
The league recently announced that it will officially expand its playoffs to include 14 teams, two jokers for each conference starting this season.
The report does not mention whether the pre-season or the five scheduled international matches would still be played in one of these scenarios.
The NFL usually starts its regular season the weekend after Labor Day, which means that the openers for that season would have fallen on September 10 with the regular season ending on January 3.
A announcement of the league next month is not guaranteed, according to Sports Business Daily, because the league is worried about the repercussions it might face in announcing return plans with so many unknowns – even as the states began to relax restrictions on social distancing.
Team facilities have remained closed, but in the past two weeks, teams have started a voluntary virtual off-season program, which the league says includes classroom lessons, training sessions and training programs. education not related to football.
Last weekend, the NFL organized a largely successful draft that delighted desperate sports fans with entertainment.