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NFL cutting preseason down to 2 games, NFLPA votes to not play any preseason games

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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.”

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.

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.