Sports in 2020 have been very different than what we have become accustomed to. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA Tournament and other events were canceled entirely, and the NBA and MLB seasons have been suspended/postponed. The NFL hasn’t been impacted by the pandemic nearly as much as those leagues have since it is currently the offseason for football. However, fans could see one of their most hated traditions get canceled this NFL season.
Fans hate the NFL preseason
The NFL regular season is one of the most exciting times in all of sports. The preseason? Not so much.
Teams usually play a bunch of backups during the preseason as some guys fight for roster spots. For fans, the four games played by each team often just become a tease as they don’t really get to see their favorite players play.
For example, Ryan Griffin led the NFL in passing yards during the 2019 preseason with 744, according to FOX Sports. In the regular season, he only threw for 18 yards on four attempts. In rushing yards, Nick Brossette led the NFL during last preseason with 200, but he hasn’t even played in an actual NFL regular-season game in his entire career. Additionally, Jakobi Meyers led the NFL in receiving yards last preseason. He was 127th in receiving yards in the regular season.
As far as stars go, Patrick Mahomes only threw for 203 yards in three games combined during the preseason. Derrick Henry, who led the NFL in rushing in 2019, didn’t play at all.
So, yeah, preseason games don’t really consist of high-quality football.
The NFL Hall of Fame game is canceled this season
The Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio almost always kicks off the NFL preseason. This year’s game was supposed to be between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the Pro Football Hall of Fame canceled the game because of the coronavirus, according to ESPN.
The Hall of Fame also postponed this year’s enshrinement ceremony.
“The health and safety of our Hall of Famers, fans and volunteers who make Enshrinement Week so special remains our top priority,” president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, David Baker, said in a statement, according to ESPN. “The Hall will honor the Centennial Class of 2020 next August, along with what promises to be an equally spectacular Class of 2021, as part of a multi-day celebration of football with an atmosphere that will deliver for fans ‘Twice the Fun in ’21.'”
Could the NFL cancel its preseason all together?
The first game of the 2020 preseason isn’t happening. So, could the NFL end up canceling the rest of the preseason all together?
This is what ESPN’s Dan Graziano said on SportsCenter about the NFL canceling more preseason games this season.
“Extremely possible, even likely that the preseason will be at least shortened, if not wiped out all together,” Graziano said on ESPN. “I know the league and the players union are working through a lot of details in terms of what has to happen over the next couple of months in order for there to even be an NFL season. This cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game was not unexpected. It will allow the Cowboys and Steelers, who were supposed to play in that game, to report 10 days later than they were going to, along with every other team in the league … And gives the league time to iron out the details of what things will look like when that report date happens.”Dan Graziano
He also said that the NFL will look at if it is worth having preseason games, as well as contingencies for the regular season in case they need to alter that schedule.
So, could NFL fans not have to deal with their most hated yearly tradition in 2020? It looks like that is certainly a possibility.