Report: NFL now offering to eliminate 2020 preseason games

Aug 8, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; A closeup of the NFL shield on a goal post before the preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The social media push from top players against the NFL has paid off, with the league now offering daily COVID-19 testing and to eliminate the 2020 preseason to get players on the field for training camp.

NFL offers to eliminate preseason schedule

The NFL and NFL Players Associated have been locked in negotiations for weeks over key issues regarding player safety. The NFLPA has pushed for daily testing for the coronavirus, an increased acclimation period at training camp and zero preseason games this year.

While the league was resistant, a firestorm of tweets inspired by an NFL star, seems to have forced the league’s hand. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the NFL offered to wipe out its preseason schedule and increase the acclimation period for training camp.

The players’ union recommended eliminating the preseason earlier this month in an effort to reduce potential exposure to the coronavirus. However, teams pushed against it because preseason games generate revenue through television broadcasts and advertising.

The NFLPA also asked the league to create a 21-day acclimation period, providing players with three weeks to dedicate to strength and conditioning work in training camp. Under the NFL’s new proposal, teams would have an 18-day acclimation period before launching into non-padded practice.

Disagreements over COVID-19 safety guidelines and the risks of contracting the coronavirus at training camp was the biggest hurdle preventing players from reporting for camp. Now that these big issues are out of the way, things are trending in the right direction for the 2020 NFL season.