ARIZONA CARDINALS

Reports: NFL to cut 2020 preseason schedule to 2 games

Jul 1, 2020, 1:58 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The National Football League plans to have each of its franchises play only two preseason games in 2020 instead of the regular four, Pro Football Talk and others reported Wednesday.

The Arizona Cardinals will lose their preseason games against Green Bay and Denver, which were a road game and a home game, respectively. That’s because the league decided to scrap the first and fourth weeks of the preseason, Pro Football Talk reported.

Arizona’s preseason schedule included games at Green Bay, at home against Kansas City, at Las Vegas and at home against Denver in that order. The preseason slate was scheduled to run from Aug. 15 to Sept. 3 before a Week 1 opener at the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 13. Now, only the home game against the Chiefs on Aug. 22 and the road game at the Raiders on Aug. 27 remain as scheduled.

The announcement comes as sports leagues across the globe grapple with the logistical and economic effects the coronavirus pandemic.

Typically, teams use their rosters differently in each of the four preseason games, and starters play for very little of those 16 quarters of football. Now, not only because of a shortened preseason but also because there’s been no formal offseason workouts to this point, it’s not clear how teams will use the preseason to ready their players for Week 1.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, teams will get an acclimatization period of about three weeks in length to get players in football shape at the start of camp on July 28.

Fortunately for the Cardinals, major changes to both the roster and coaching staff came a year ahead of the unusual circumstances. The 2020 season will be the second in which Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury are united, and virtually everyone on the Cardinals coaching staff is returning from last year.

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has several new starters on his side of the ball, so the Cardinals may have to race to get their players familiar with his system.

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