At the moment, the next big event for the National Football League would be the announcement of the regular-season schedule on May 9. Unfortunately with COVID-19 and stay at home orders, there is a strong chance the regular season schedule might look a bit different this season. Thankfully, the NFL has talked with other sporting leagues and will be ready to adjust to any needed disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as we want to see the NFL continue with their normal schedule and planned events, here’s a look at what the league has thought about if the pandemic continues to hold during the season.
New Regular Season Start Date
John Ourand and Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily talked about the possibility of the league looking into a new start date if they had to push back the first part of the season. Right now, the NFL has talked about October 15 being a possible start date if the COVID-19 pandemic does not slow down. It’s unaware at the moment if this new October 15 start date would still hold all regular-season games or have a shortened schedule due to the timing of the Super Bowl. Speaking of the Super Bowl, that too might be changed.
Super Bowl/Pro Bowl New Date
Looking at the NFL schedule, the Super Bowl will be played in Tampa Bay on Sunday, February 7. The league does not want the Super Bowl to be played in any other month which means that Sunday, February 28 would be the last possible day for the Super Bowl. The NFL could even say goodbye to the bye week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl if the regular season started later. With the bye week being eliminated, the Pro Bowl would also be canceled as well.
Roger Goodell Thoughts
The commissioner of the league understands the situation at hand and even talked about the process of how difficult it is to plan the league months ahead.
“One thing I’ve learned about what we are going through as a country is you can’t tell a week from now much less three months from now,” Goodell said. “So, our job is to be ready. We will obviously be ready to make alternatives.”
Right now the NFL is on course to begin the season right on time. However as stated above, the league is ready to make changes if need be. What do you think the NFL should do if COVID-19 is still a problem come late summer/fall?