The NFL is set to announce that the first and fourth week of the preseason schedule has been scrapped, which doesn’t come as a great surprise given recent indications that things were moving in that direction.
One of the reasons for the change is to give teams more time to work on their own after losing on-field time this offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another is to cut down on travel amid that pandemic, although the move didn’t cut travel for four teams.
Carolina, Minnesota, Kansas City and Washington are all now scheduled to play two road games. Miami, Buffalo, Dallas and Tampa are now scheduled to play two home games, but Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the league will shuffle the schedule to make sure everyone has one of each.
The Chiefs are set to play the Cowboys on August 29, so flipping the site of that game could take care of that issue. There would be a little more work involved for the other six teams and the league could also swap in new games for those weeks in order to make for smoother sailing come August.
We don’t know at this point how many, if any, fans will be in attendance at these games, but making sure there will be a preseason dry run of the new protocols that will be in place this season in every NFL stadium seems like a wise approach for the league to take before the preseason is underway.