Roger Goodell and the NFL pulled off the 2020 NFL Draft to near-perfection despite the ominous presence of COVID-19, and as of now, it looks like they are moving forward with the 2020 season, as well.
Per ESPN, the NFL will release the 2020 schedule late next week and it will feature the full 17-game slate.
“The league will release its 2020 schedule late next week without any major changes, league spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed — including a Sept. 10 opener, the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 and visions of fans in the stands.” - via ESPN
While everything right now is at best, “conditional” due to the pandemic, this runs parallel with what Chris Mortensen reported back in April. He said that the league was planning on releasing its full schedule by May 9, which is one week away from today.
According to ESPN, the league has also discussed contingency plans such as delaying the season until Mid-October, playing in empty stadiums, and eliminating bye weeks.
I’m not entirely sure what the last option would entail, but I’ll go with it for now.
There is one possibility that has been eliminated and that is following in the footsteps of the MLB and NBA, who have discussed - and are still discussing - the idea of playing in a centralized location. The NFL schedule is not expected to add Saturday games, even though the NCAA is uncertain if it will have a 2020 season.
And lastly, the league is currently reevaluating when facilities can re-open. As it stands, the NFL is keeping its doors closed until every state that is home to a NFL team lifts its stay-at-home law(s). Offseason workouts and minicamps will be conducted virtually until this changes.