In a report by the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport, NFL executive Jeff Pash says the 2020 season is expected to begin on schedule and to be played in full.
NFL exec Jeff Pash says on a conference call “our planning, our expectation is fully directed at playing a full season and starting on schedule. … Just as we did in 2019. Am I certain? I’m not certain I’ll be here tomorrow, but I’m planning on it. That’s what we talked about."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020
With a little more than five months until the NFL is expected to play their first regular season game on Thursday, September 10, 2020, there is still plenty of time for life in the United States to get back to normal in time for the NFL season. With the other major professional sports seeing a stoppage to their contests being held, the NFL has proceeded with “business as usual” as much as possible throughout their offseason. But as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep people confined to their homes as much as possible, looking to the future when tens of thousands of fans can gather in a stadium had to remain in the back of the minds of those in the NFL office.
As team’s offseason training activities are unable to get underway this month, being prepared for the 2020 season is going to look different than in years past. With the first game of any sort being the Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Dallas Cowboys in Canton, Ohio for the Hall of Fame game on August 6, 2020, there is definitely still time before the NFL must make major changes to its schedule.
Although this announcement from the NFL can help bring comfort to some, it is really the only reasonable approach at this time. Continuing on with a plan for games in five months is a wise decision as preparations for the NFL schedule need to be done at this point. With the release of the schedule reportedly coming by May 9, making the plans to conduct business in the fall needs to continue as long as it is not putting the NFL’s employees at risk.
These are uncertain times in our country. To move forward with absolute certainty with the 2020 NFL season would be naïve. But to not plan on being able to conduct business as usual this fall would be even worse.