That isn't a done deal in the eyes of the NFL Players Association. There may not be any preseason contests at all if some within the NFLPA have their way.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that some union representatives may try to push the league to cancel all exhibition games during a Thursday board of representatives call:
While the expectation for weeks has been the NFL goes to two preseason games, the NFLPA hasn’t signed off. and some in union leadership continue to question whether it’s smart to play ANY preseason games, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Board of reps call Thursday. Stay tuned.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 1, 2020
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero added "the exposure risk in games that don’t count in the standings" has some players thinking twice about standard August schedules:
One issue with the two-game preseason slate from players’ perspective: Some could have just 23 days from report date to first preseason games. Not much of a ramp-up. Then there’s the exposure risk in games that don’t count in the standings. A lot to discuss over next couple days.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 1, 2020
It is understandable if players try to use current events to eliminate needless preseason games — regardless of whether or not they share executives' concerns about personnel traveling to different cities/states during the uncontrolled virus outbreak. Star players on multimillion-dollar contracts skipping preseason games is now commonplace, as the risk of suffering an injury during largely meaningless exercises isn't worth the reward of added preparation for a physically grueling season.
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