Will the Kansas City Chiefs, or the rest of the NFL, play any preseason games at all?
In a way, it’s heartening to see that we’re not alone in taking this whole global pandemic thing one day at a time. Even organizations that bring in billions of dollars in revenue each year aren’t exactly sure how the future—even the very near future—will play out, which is why we’re seeing conflicting reports and ideas thrown around regarding how the National Football League might proceed in 2020 with operations—starting with the preseason.
The NFL already announced a shortened preseason for the coming year, dropping two of four scheduled games for each franchise. The league argued that it would allow them to test for COVID-19 and give a preparatory on-ramp to help players avoid injuries. That was not enough for the NFL Players Association, whose members voted unanimously to cancel the entire preseason slate, per a release on Tuesday. In the note, the NFLPA refuted the NFL’s reasons for a shortened schedule.
"“The NFL offered no medical justification that supports their decision to retain two preseason games, nor any medical justification for shortening the previously agreed acclimation period, which is medically recommended for avoidance of injuries during the season.”"
Midway through the same day, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III then tweeted out the following:
Is Griffin correct? He’s certainly in a place to know something as an insider, but what’s even more puzzling is that the NFLPA ended up coming to an agreement with the league on travel protocols for—get this—training camp and the preseason. In short, the NFLPA says its players don’t want to play a single preseason game and are fighting against it, yet at the same time, they are negotiating things like “no buffets allowed” for teams who travel to play a preseason game.
As it stands, the NFL was scrambling to rework the preseason schedule in a way that would allow each team to play one game at home and another on the road before the season begins. The Kansas City Chiefs were scheduled to host the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers. They were also supposed to visit the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. At this point, the Chiefs could still uphold half of this schedule or they might just wipe the entire slate clean.
In short, no one really knows anything at this point. The NFL is feeling its way forward just like the rest of us.