Report: NFL trimming preseason to 2 games

Report: NFL trimming preseason to 2 games
The NFL is expected to announce the trimming of its preseason schedule from four games to two. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

The National Football League plans to shorten its preseason from four games to two, several media outlets reported Wednesday.

The league is expected to make an official announcement Thursday. The move is in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason will be canceled, according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk.

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Most players will report to training camps on July 28, but the first preseason games will not be played until the week of Aug. 20-24, ESPN reported. The second week of games will be scheduled between Aug. 27-31, the sports network reported.

Each team will play one home game and one on the road. Teams have been conducting unprecedented virtual offseason workouts, another concession to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move comes after the NFL canceled its annual Hall of Fame Game, which had been scheduled for Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio.

The NFL’s 2020 regular season is scheduled to start Sept. 10 at Kansas City, with a full slate of games set for Sept. 13, The New York Times reported. The league has not ruled out having fans in attendance for the games, but sellouts are unlikely because of the pandemic, the newspaper reported.

The NFL has had four preseason games since it was shortened from six games in 1978.