NFL Cancels 2020 Preseason Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Football lovers everywhere are not happy right now, and getting a little nervous. The NFL Players Association and league's owners have agreed to cancel the 2020 preseason.
According to reports late Tuesday, the two sides agreed to eliminate all four weeks of preseason after the owners offered to meet the demands of the players to do so this week. In addition, team training camp rosters will be limited to just 80 players to open camp. This is a reduction from the normal 90 player roster.
Reports say that players were given the news by union executives via conference call on Tuesday evening, the same day that rookies across the league reported to training camp. NFL quarterbacks and injured players are set to report on Thursday. Those veteran players are set to report on July 28.
The Detroit Lions had there preseason schedule set to kick off on August 16th out east against the New England Patriots. They were set to also face the New York Jets at home followed by a visit to Miami to face the Dolphins. Their final preseason game was set for Ford Field on September 3rd against Buffalo.
With the cancellation of preseason play, the Lions will now take the field for the first time this season on September 13th at Ford Field when they host the Chicago Bears. There is no word as of yet on whether it will be with or without fans present.
Currently, only the New York Giants and New York Jets are the only teams to officially announce that they will play their 2020 home games without fans in the stands. That decision was announced this week after New Jersey governor Phil Murphy told the teams that his 500-person statewide limit for outdoor gatherings applies to both teams.