The NFL reportedly plans to cut the preseason down from 4 games to 2 due to ongoing health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic. Week 1 and Week 4 will reportedly be eliminated. This would mean the Redskins lose both of their preseason home games(Week 1: Titans, Week 4: Ravens).
This is bad news for undrafted free agents and bottom of the roster players as explained by Albert Breer:
The simple truth: 2020 is a bad year to be an undrafted free agent, or a player trying to hang on to the fringes of the NFL. You’ve already lost two months of opportunity to stand out in practice. The new CBA has cut the amount of padded practices allowed in training camp from 28 to 16. And plenty of coaches are going to have enough trouble trying to get their starters ready for the opener, before having to worry about some guy fighting for a job.
Unfortunately, with the NFL moving to call off Weeks 1 and 4 for the preseason, those guys are losing even more opportunity, and not just with their teams, but the league as a whole. Those preseason games become resume tapes for a lot of young players who just miss the cut—it’s basically a shot to show the other 31 teams how you fit into the league, and how you match up with other players.
Now, that opportunity gets cut down naturally, with four games becoming two. And the need to prepare the front-line guys may take an even bigger chunk of it away—the starters, like everyone else, will have less practice time this year, and joint practices are out as well, leaving the coaches with much fewer chances to get competitive reps for the guys who’ll be playing the biggest roles in the fall.
“Hate seeing the preseason cut short for all the players that will not get the same opportunity to interview for all 32 teams,” texted one veteran pro scouting director, the other night. “These bubble and long-shot players are lucky to get 40 useable snaps in a four-game preseason. With two games, guys just won’t have the same opportunity to impress teams. Every year there are players that earn an opportunity on what they do in the fourth preseason game alone.”
Games are scheduled to be played in Weeks 2 and 3 of the original preseason schedule. Could mean we’ve seen the last 4-week NFL preseason. CBA allows for it to be shortened if/when 17-game regular seasons start.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) July 1, 2020
While the expectation for weeks has been the NFL goes to two preseason games, the NFLPA hasn’t signed off. and some in union leadership continue to question whether it’s smart to play ANY preseason games, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Board of reps call Thursday. Stay tuned.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 1, 2020
NFL training camps are scheduled to start on July 28th. The NFL already canceled the Hall of Fame game between the Cowboys and Steelers. There are reports that training camps could be smaller than the normal 90-man rosters.
Cowboys and Steelers had been scheduled to report to training camp July 22 – six days ahead of most other NFL teams – because of the Hall of Fame game. But now their reporting date will be pushed back; question is whether others will, too.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 25, 2020
From what I have been told, you can expect NFL training camp rosters to be smaller this year than the usual 90. So the old "preseason games are so important for guys on the bubble" argument (which is overrated) will be minimized a bit.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) July 1, 2020
“In football, you have to breathe on people. You have to tackle people, you spit on people. Guys have cuts, guys cough. . . . I don’t know how we’re going to have a season.”— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoRCC) July 1, 2020
It's becoming increasingly unclear how the NFL can proceed with a responsible season. https://t.co/nWh5LQKSGY
With the NFLPA still opposed to preseason games, one possible camp schedule the union has discussed:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 3, 2020
3 days: medical/equipment
21 days: strength & conditioning
10 days: unpadded practice
14 days: practice (10 max/8 padded)
Then it’d be straight into Week 1.
The NFLPA has been opposed to the NFL's plan to cut the preseason down to 2 games. They have proposed playing no games during the preseason, and their board of representatives voted unanimously last night to recommend no games during the preseason.
The NFL is set to begin their 2020-21 season in 2 months and the signs are not good for the prospects of playing this year. The league will continue to push forward with their plans, but the offseason has already gone virtual, teams still can't practice together, and the even if the season starts as planned, a few positive COVID-19 results could derail multiple weeks worth of games.
: NFLPA membership votes to play no preseason games ahead of 2020 regular seasonhttps://t.co/aePiKlYEJT— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) July 3, 2020
On Thursday night’s NFLPA call, the union’s board of reps voted unanimously to recommend that the NFL play no preseason games this year. It’s unclear whether the league, which has already decided to cut the preseason from four games to two, will consider the recommendation.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) July 3, 2020
As of midweek, the NFL was not willing to budge from its plan for a two-game preseason. The NFLPA wants no preseason. The CBA says the league can decide, as long as it's not lengthening the preseason. The NFLPA can argue it must be bargained because of the unique circumstances.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) July 3, 2020