We heard yesterday that the NFLPA might be pushing to cancel the preseason, and indeed, the union’s board of player reps have unanimously recommended that no preseason games be played, as Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). That decision was reached during last night’s call between the player reps and NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer, details of which can be found here.
As Albert Breer of SI.com notes, the preseason schedule was also discussed during today’s phone call, which was open to all players (Twitter link). The union has floated the following summer schedule, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network (via Twitter):
- Three days of medical and equipment checks;
- 21 days of strength and conditioning;
- 10 days of unpadded practice; and
- 14 days of practice, with a maximum of ten practice sessions, eight of which would be padded.
From there, the schedule would shift immediately to Week 1 of the regular season. And as Pelissero notes in a separate tweet, players would be divided into smaller groups during the strength and conditioning and unpadded practice portions of the schedule, which would buy an extra month of time before everyone would have to come together for the padded sessions.
Of course, the NFL has full authority over whether to schedule preseason games or not, and Graziano notes that it’s unclear whether the league will consider the union’s recommendation. As Breer points out in a separate tweet, teams would lose out on gate revenue — if fans are allowed in stands, which is a dubious proposition — and local TV money. Plus, the NFL Network usually sees its highest ratings in August, so cancelling the preseason slate altogether would be a tough pill to swallow.