Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is cutting its 2020 preseason in half, according to NBC Sports’ ProFootballTalk.
Weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason will be canceled, according to the report.
That means the Eagles will lose games at Indianapolis and vs. the Jets. They will still be scheduled to play at Miami and vs. New England. According to other reports, the preseason start will be pushed back later in August.
Indeed, the @NFL has shortened its preseason to two games. Primary driver was the understanding that players will need longer to get into football shape. There will be a ~ 3-week acclimatization period between the start of camp July 28 and the first pod of preseason games.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) July 1, 2020
Here’s a look at the Eagles’ preseason schedule:
Week 1 — at IND on NBC10
STILL ON: Week 2 — at MIA on NBC10
STILL ON: Week 3 — vs. NE on NBC10
Week 4 — vs. NYJ on NBC10
Updated NFL preseason schedule:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 1, 2020
July 28: Nearly all NFL teams report to training camp
23 day acclimation period begins
Preseason Week 1: August 20th-24th
Preseason Week 2: August 27th-31st
September 10th: Chiefs vs. Texans. The games begin 🏈.
This report seems to jibe with a report from USA Today that said the NFLPA is considering a proposal to limit rosters from 90 to 80 or even 75 for teams to make it easier to socially distance this summer. Without half of their preseason games, teams will likely find it easier to have smaller rosters.
The news about the reduced preseason comes after the NFL advised teams last week that training camps are still expected to begin on July 28 with rookies and select players permitted to report earlier.
It’s important for NFL teams to get a full training camp in, especially after missing the entirety of spring workouts.
“I do think because we've missed the entire off-season, it's going to take all of the five to six weeks that we have of training camp to be prepared for a regular season,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said earlier this offseason. “I think that you have to -- that's part of training camp is conditioning the mind, conditioning the body for the physical aspect of the game. In the spring and summer, it's about the mental side, and then just your physical conditioning from workouts and running and things of that nature.
“So I do think that a full training camp, moving forward, would it prepare you -- because I do think you can get enough contact in, and get enough padded practices in, and you would have to maximize those, but at the same time, you would have to be smart to get your guys ready and prepared for that opening weekend.”
For now, the Eagles are expected to open their 2020 season at Washington on Sept. 13 at 1 p.m.
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