The NFL already has had an unprecedented number of rescheduled games. The NFL hopes that won’t continue.
In a memo sent to all teams on Friday by NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent, the league pointed out that it has “made more in-season scheduling modifications than in any previous season.”
“These adjustments have not caused significant disruption to the season,” Vincent writes. “As the season progresses, however, rescheduling options will become increasingly limited. Eventually, further adjustments will cause disruption and jeopardize our collective ability to complete the season within the current framework.”
As a result, Vincent reminds the various franchises that any club that compels the postponement of games based on “COVID protocol breaches, positive tests and/or numerous high-risk close contacts . . . risks negative competitive implications, including accountability measures being assessed against the offending club.”
Even without punishment, a team that has an outbreak could find itself at a competitive disadvantage based on teams being unable to adequately prepare for a game or to not have key players available. That’s precisely what could happen to the Raiders if their game against Tampa Bay proceeds on Sunday.
“The impact of one club’s protocol violations could affect the entire League, including postseason formatting and scheduling,” Vincent explains. “It will take all of us to successfully complete this season within the scheduled timeframe.”
Few believe the league will be able to play all 256 games within 17 weeks, but the league remains determined to make it happen. Through seven weeks, the league has not yet been required to move a game into an extra week of the season. As cold and flu season unfolds and as teams fall out of contention, a COVID-induced delay could become inevitable.
NFL reminds teams that rescheduled games could lead to sanctions originally appeared on Pro Football Talk