The NFL’s owners are meeting virtually Tuesday and chief on their agenda is the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
The league has already been forced to postpone and reschedule multiple games because of positive tests among organizations, shuffling bye weeks and contests to make its standard 17-week slate work. That could change, as NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported late Sunday, which would result in a Week 18. NFL Network’s Judy Battista reported Monday there is a strong preference among ownership to not add a Week 18 in order to keep the playoffs and Super Bowl on schedule.
The league will adjust if necessary, of course, but the preference is to stay the course, per Battista. Once a team that has already had its bye — so far, that includes Pittsburgh and Tennessee, which had its byes moved up to Week 4 because of a COVID-19 outbreak among the Titans organization — can’t play in a given week, the Week 18 scenario likely becomes a reality, per Silver.
In a Week 18 scenario, the league would likely only play games if they had a significant impact on the playoffs, Silver added. And if such a postponement scenario plays out for the same teams multiple times, there’s even a chance for a Week 19.
It’s not the preference at this point, and NFL owners will convene to discuss all possibilities Tuesday, but all scenarios remain in play in a most unusual season that keeps on chugging ahead.
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