NFL still planning on international games despite COVID-19 pandemic

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The idea of playing NFL games starting in September with the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the United states seems to be optimistic at best. Despite this, the league is still planning on releasing its 2020 regular-season schedule on May 9.

The schedule could have some contingencies in place depending on how the United States flattens the curve and whether widespread testing will be available.

We now have this piece of surprising information directly from NFL PR head Brian McCarthy, who noted on Thursday that said schedule release will include international games.

This legitimately makes no sense. The NFL, and the United States for that matter, can’t control how the virus spreads and policies in other countries. That doesn’t even take into account the fact that it’s a consensus among experts that any NFL games played within the states this coming season will be conducted without fans in attendance.

The United States has been attempting to push its brand to an international audience over the past several years. It’s worked both in the United Kingdom and Mexico.

With that said, there’s no real way games could be played overseas should the 2020 season start on time. As of Thursday afternoon, the United Kingdom had 103,000-plus confirmed cases of COVID-19 with north of 13,700 deaths. It’s currently the epicenter of the pandemic outside of the United States.