It isn’t quite yet time to quit holding one’s breath, but more signs are emerging that there might actually be an NFL season this year – and perhaps on its planned calendar. The league released its regular-season schedule about a week ago, only with the hopes of being able to get football games underway on September 10 as anticipated. In the latest football news, though, the NFL preseason schedule is now out – including dates and not just teams – once again raising the hopes of football fans around the world. Perhaps the coronavirus won’t have as big an impact on the season as some have thought.
Who’s Playing in NFL Preseason Schedule?
The preseason schedule had already been released by the NFL, but only listed the teams to be involved in the contests. The league has now released the full preseason, and several teams took to social media to let their fans know what to expect. Among the coming options leading up to the regular season, the San Francisco 49ers have four games scheduled – August 15 (Denver Broncos), August 21 (Las Vegas Raiders), August 29 (Chicago Bears) and September 3 (LA Chargers).
The Washington Redskins also put their preseason schedule up today for NFL games, showing August 15 (Tennessee Titans), August 24 (Indianapolis Colts), August 29 (Jacksonville Jaguars) and September 3 (Baltimore Ravens) as their dates.
Not be left out, the Bears let their schedule be known, and, in addition to the Niners, will take on the Cleveland Browns on August 15, the Colts on August 22 and the Titans on September 3. The Detroit Lions are ready to get into the action, as well, putting up August 13 (New England Patriots), August 20 (New York Jets), August 27 (Miami Dolphins) and September 3 (Buffalo Bills) as their schedule. A lot of football action that should definitely make fans happy and keep them entertained.
There are, as of now, 65 preseason games on tap, with eight of these are scheduled for NFL prime time, including the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jaguars on August 22. That game is expected to find Tom Brady making his first start with the Bucs, and it isn’t too surprising that this would be a matchup chosen to be featured on prime-time TV.
COVID-19 Still Could Force Schedule Changes
Just because the NFL preseason schedules have been posted doesn’t mean that the games will definitely take place. There are still a lot of questions that have to be answered first and a lot of challenges to be overcome. Preseason games aren’t just about warming up for the regular season; they’re also about giving second- and third-string players a chance to show off their talents as they try to score a better position on the roster. Losing the preseason matchups would be detrimental to them, as well as to fans.
Some believe that the games shouldn’t even be held because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the general public can only take too much table tennis and Slovakian tiddlywinks. If games are allowed to be held, teams will be required to adhere to strict health and safety guidelines that would be approved at the highest levels.
If the leading health officials believe that there’s no real danger to having the contests play out, even if no fans are allowed to attend, then no one else needs to question the decision. It’s time for the country to get moving again, and preseason NFL games are a baby step back toward normal activity.
Of course, things could change – there is still the possibility that the preseason – and even the regular season – could be delayed. At this point, though, it’s nice to have something to look forward to, and it helps to put some semblance of order back in an otherwise chaotic world.