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NFL 'Pretty Confident' 2020 Season Will Start On Time

Short-term changes still on the horizon

WR Larry Fitzgerald before the regular season home finale against the Browns.
WR Larry Fitzgerald before the regular season home finale against the Browns.

The coronavirus pandemic has postponed the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons indefinitely, but the NFL believes it may be able to avoid such a scenario.

Jeff Pash, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the NFL, told reporters in a conference call that the league is "pretty confident" the season will begin on time and be conducted normally, based on current information from COVID-19 experts.

All of the NFL's focus has been on a normal, traditional season, playing on time, playing in front of fans and in regular stadiums, Pash said, according to multiple reports.

NFL training camps generally begin in late July, followed by the regular season in early September.

While there is hope for long-term normalcy, there are going to be short-term changes due to coronavirus. Among the possibilities:

  • The Cardinals are preparing to partake in the draft virtually, owner Michael Bidwill said, and the team is doing meetings via videoconference.
  • During the draft, teams may be given a one-time option to extend their time on the clock by one-to-two minutes to complete the process of a trade, per Troy Vincent, the NFL executive vice president of football operations.
  • The regular season schedule, which is usually released in mid-April, is now expected to be released no later than May 9, Pash said.
  • Offseason programs have not been canceled, but the NFL has told owners about the possibility of virtual programs in place of live activities, Pash said.

The Cardinals are scheduled to play in Mexico City in 2020, and the current expectation is for international games to remain on the schedule, Pash said.