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FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) greets Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) after an NFL preseason football game in Denver. The NFL will cut its preseason in half and push back the start of exhibition play so teams have more time to train following an all virtual offseason made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t announced that the preseason will be cut from four games to two. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

NFL Shortens Preseason

The NFL announced it will shorten its preseason from four games to two. This is part of the league’s goal to figure out how to keep the 2020 season going.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports the league canceled weeks one and four. Preseason starts a week late now and there will be a week break before the regular season. There will be a reshuffling of the schedule to make sure each team gets a home and away game. With the shortened preseason, there lies the issue of teams being ready at the start of the season.

COVID-19 restrictions limited how much players could practice together. Now, it limits how much players can prepare against the opposition.

COVID Hits the Pro Football Afterall

The NFL remains optimistic the season will start on time. However, adding up preseason and the Hall of Fame Game, the league has now canceled 33 games. According to CBS Sports, the cancelation of all preseason games is still a possibility.

Dr. Anthony Fauci stated a couple of weeks ago that a second wave could cancel football this season. Even after almost four months, the virus is still a week-by-week situation. The NFL still wants fans at the games. This might not be possible even with a coronavirus waiver.

ESPN analyst Ryan Clark said the shorten short season impacts how teams manage players. He theorizes that rookies and younger players will get priority in reps.

Supplemental Draft Also Canceled

According to NFL.com reporter Tom Pelissero, there won’t be a supplemental draft this year either. Under the CBA, the NFL has the ability to decide every year if it will hold a supplemental draft.

As we get closer to training camp, the league we considered to have gotten lucky having completed its season in February is now seeing the effects beyond a zoom draft. Maybe football will get lucky again, and they’ll have a normal schedule with fans. Dr. Fauci might be correct, however, and we don’t have football this year. Again, this virus is a week-by-week development. Every point in the year should be seen as very far away with unknowns attached.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football in 2019 and contributes to WRUF's Trending Now segments. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since Jan. 2019.

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