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The NFL Plans On Announcing Its Schedule Without Any Changes To Its Start Date

While sports leagues around the world are trying to figure out how their seasons can operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL reportedly plans on going about their business without any complications. According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the league will announce its 17-game 2020 schedule sometime in the next week, with the assumption being that the start date will not be changed.

In a statement to ESPN, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said that “We plan to start on time,” which would mean the first game of the year would kick off on Sept. 10 and the Super Bowl would occur on Feb. 7.

Fowler went on to report that while the league is not considering any sort of a bubble league, there are plenty of plans on the table that the NFL could turn to if it has to adjust on the fly.

The league has evaluated contingency plans should the pandemic intensify, working in conjunction with the NFL Players Association and medical experts on a set of protocols.

One of those contingencies is delaying the season until mid-October, according to the Sports Business Journal. Empty stadiums and no bye weeks have long been discussed.

The NFL has already been impacted in a few ways by the pandemic, most notably by the 2020 NFL Draft moving from Las Vegas to a virtual event. But when it comes to actual games, the league is trudging forward with the hopes that things will not veer off course with regards to its regularly-scheduled start date.