Last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the decision to shorten the 2020 preseason by two games, but the NFLPA has not yet signed off on the change. With training camps expected to start in just a matter of weeks (initial start date of July 28), it is no surprise that the players are starting to address their concerns upon starting a season. The decrease of games would eliminate the first and final weeks of the normal August schedule, along with the cancellation of the NFL Hall of Fame game. However, the players association is suggesting more be done.
In the NFLPA’s latest meeting, its board of representatives voted unanimously to propose the league cut out all preseason games entirely. This would effectively lay out a plan that would see teams go directly from training camp to the regular season on September 13. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFLPA’s proposal would cover the entire month of August, thus leaving no room for any preseason games. The league is expected to consider a proposal that would look very similar to the following:
3 days: Medical/equipment
21 days: Strength & conditioning
10 days: Unpadded practice
14 days: Practice
Begin Week 1 of the 2020 season.
Players remain split on the decision of opting-out of a season, with some wanting to continue moving forward, while others siding with Malcolm Jenkins, who has been very clear that he does not want to play amid the present circumstances.. As a vice president in the NFLPA, Jenkins has stated he wouldn’t be comfortable returning until the COVID-19 threat was “eliminated”.
The NFL and NFLPA continue to discuss opt-out circumstances if players choose to do so. We have seen over the last few weeks that players from the NBA and MLB are opting-out of playing their seasons, whether it be due to health concerns or continuing to stand up against systemic racism.