In an announcement made Monday, the National Football League has officially canceled the pre-season schedule for the 2020-2021 year.
As teams around the NFL begin to kick off their annual training camp, league commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a letter to the fans addressing the upcoming season.
“This week training camps across the country are starting and before we know it, the NFL season will be here,” writes Goodell. “This is always the most optimistic time of year for our fans, and for all 32 teams. In a year that has been extraordinarily difficult for our country and the world, we hope the energy of this moment will provide some much-needed optimism.”
“The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years. Players and coaches will be tested for the virus regularly, including every day for a while.”
The NFL has officially cancelled all 2020 preseason games.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) July 27, 2020
Looking forward, the standard array of four pre-season outings prior to the beginning of the regular season will be left off the schedule in the fall.
“This process has not been easy — COVID-19 will continue to present a major challenge to nearly every area of American life,” writes Goodell. “Football is no exception.
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Regarding a shortened year or training schedule, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in an interview earlier this year: “The number one thing that changes is the opportunity for young guys to show themselves.”
“When a young guy gets hurt, it really hinders him more so than an experienced player, and that’s because he misses the developmental time. So if that were to take place—even though I’m extremely impressed with our young guys and how they have learned and applied themselves to this point—still there just might not be enough time to really give them the chance, so you might be behind in that area a little bit.”
The NFL will be the last major team pro sports league in North America to return to action. We’re on the cusp of the return to play in the world of hockey, as NHL teams head to the bubble in Edmonton and Toronto. The NBA are a few days into their restart in Florida. And the baseball season is back, with some hiccups thanks to minimal regulations set by the MLB.