Reports emerged last month that the NFL and NFL Players Association were discussing cutting the preseason in half from four games to two amid the coronavirus pandemic.
It appears that's exactly what happened on the first day of July.
Pro Football Talk reported on Wednesday that the traditional Week 1 and Week 4 fixtures of the preseason have been eliminated for at least 2020:
Week One and Week Four will be the preseason weeks that are scrapped, per source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 1, 2020
PFT's Mike Florio added the following:
The move was driven by two primary factors. First, teams who will be playing preseason games on the road won’t want to move that many people. Second, given that no teams had on-field practice sessions in the offseason, coaches would rather have the extra time to work with their teams, and that will happen if they don’t have to worry about two extra preseason games.
The NFL already canceled the Hall of Fame Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys and this year's Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony because of the pandemic.
Both parties agreeing to drop preseason games at a time when the NFL wishes to limit travel and exposure to non-league personnel while hoping to somehow conduct a season amid the pandemic this fall makes sense.
On Tuesday, Florio reported teams are prepping for game-day travel scenarios during the regular season so clubs won't require in-market hotel stays.