Last Updated: 01/07/20 10:17pm
The NFL will trim its postseason slate from four games to two, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.
Weeks 1 and 4 are expected to be dropped by the league, which is expected to announce the move on Thursday.
The NFL Network reported last month that a proposal for a shorter preseason was being considered.
The league already cancelled the Pro Football Hall of Fame game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The game is the first cancellation of an event on the NFL calendar due to the health emergency.
All off-season workouts at team facilities were cancelled thus far due to the coronavirus and mini-camps have been conducted virtually.
The 2020 regular season is scheduled to start at September 10 at Kansas City with a full Week 1 slate on Sept. 13. To date, the NFL hasn’t ruled out having fans in attendance at games but selling out any sporting event seems unlikely because of the pandemic.
Some NFL players are raising concerns about playing football, while others are ignoring advice of medical experts by working out with teammates.
JC Tretter, a centre on the Cleveland Browns and president of the NFL Players Association, wrote an open letter to players on Tuesday, saying they have to fight for necessary COVID-19 protections.
“We are not invincible, and as recent reports have shown, we certainly arent immune to this virus,” Tretter wrote in his letter.
“Underlying conditions like high BMI, asthma and sleep apnea are all associated with a higher risk of developing severe symptoms and complications when infected with COVID-19. Those conditions are widespread across the league. NFL players are humans some with immuno-compromised family members or live-in elderly parents.
“Trust me: we want to play football. But as a union, our most important job is to keep our players safe and alive. The NFLPA will fight for our most at-risk players and their families.”