The Los Angeles Rams are set to debut SoFi Stadium on Aug. 14 against the New Orleans Saints. Or are they?
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday that the NFL and the NFLPA are discussing a shortened preseason schedule due to the unknowns and complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We had already expected that fans may not be allowed to attend games but in the case of the preseason, at least, games could end up simply being canceled.
Shortening the preseason would allow for a longer “ramp-up” period, regardless of whether players agree to report a week or two early, and provide extra time for medical experts to finalize game-day protocols for testing, etc. More at the top of the hour on @nflnetwork— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 10, 2020
The NFL has been discussing a shortened preseason for quite some time and last year commissioner Roger Goodell was vocal in talks he had with coaches about whether or not four preseason games was overkill in evaluating players prior to the regular season.
Speaking to reporters at Jim Kelly’s 33rd charity golf tournament outside of Buffalo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell repeated his stance on a desire to reduce the current four-game schedule, via John Wawrow of The Associated Press.
According to Wawrow, Goodell drew on discussions he had with coaches around the league before concluding the current span of preseason games is not required to evaluate players before the start of the regular season.
Goodell told reporters the league should strive to accomplish tasks at a high level, “and I’m not sure preseason games meet that level right now,” via Wawrow.
This could be an opportunity for the league to see what a two-game preseason looks like and if it is a viable formula moving forward, but the main focus here is the safety of fans and NFL personnel.
The Rams are set to play the Saints in preseason Week 1, followed by another game in SoFi (albeit a “road” game) against the LA Chargers, then they host the Denver Broncos before wrapping the preseason on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders, another team debuting a new stadium.
We’ll keep you updated as updates about the preseason schedule come in.