Last week the Pro Football Hall of Fame postponed the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies and the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton Ohio. The Hall of Fame game was the traditional first preseason game of each NFL year. This week the NFL has reportedly cancelled 2 weeks of preseason games for each team, leaving the teams with only 2 games to get their roster ready for the regular season and to decide which players to keep and which ones to cut.
Week One and Week Four will be the preseason weeks that are scrapped, per source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 1, 2020
The Steelers will now be short 3 preseason games, with their appearance in the Hall of Fame game postponed until 2021.
With teams set to open training camps 4 weeks from now on July 28th, the knowledge that there will be half as many warm up games as usual should put added pressure on players to prepare for the regular season, and for all the players on the roster bubble, added pressure to stand out.
While this year’s abbreviated preseason is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL has floated the idea of shortening the preseason to 2 games before. This move would be popular with many season ticket holders who resent paying for games that don’t count, and with veteran players who don’t have as much to gain from those games as younger players.
Many parties inside the NFL will be looking at how this temporary change affects the season. Whether injuries increase or decrease, if the level of play is affected, and how the coaching staffs feel about the change are all important factors which will be played out in this bizarre 2020 NFL season. Here’s hoping the announcements of games being cancelled have reached their end, and the regular season remains unaffected.
As always, stay tuned to Behind the Steel Curtain for all your Steelers breaking news.