The NFL preseason is getting cut in half in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Pro Football Talk reports that the first and fourth preseason games will be canceled with an announcement coming Thursday.
The Jaguars preseason schedule was set to open on Aug. 13 in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers and conclude on Sept. 3 at home against the Atlanta Falcons. Those games will not be played. Now, the Jaguars only preseason games on the schedule are Aug. 22 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Aug. 29 at home against the Washington Redskins.
According to the report, “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.”
Training camps are still scheduled to begin on July 28, but instead of two weeks to prepare for the first preseason games, there will now be three.
Last season, the Jaguars sat more than 30 players in the preseason opener, including most of the starters. In the preseason finale, only one part-time starter, linebacker Leon Jacobs, received any playing time.
The league was set to reduce the number of preseason games from four to three next season under the new collective bargaining agreement.
The league postponed the Pro Football Hall of Fame game and the associated induction ceremonies last week, pushing them off to 2021.