Preseason NFL games at times have the feel of halfhearted football.
This summer, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be only half as many of those games.
The league is expected to cut this year’s preseason games from four to two per team, eliminating games scheduled for Weeks 1 and 4. This comes in the wake of the NFL cancelling the annual Hall of Fame Game, which typically opens the preseason.
The move is expected to be formally announced in the coming days, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The NFL declined to confirm the pending decision.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the games scheduled for Weeks 2 and 3 of the preseason will be the matchups played. Under the plan, each team will get a home and away game. The Week 2 matchups likely will remain as is, with Week 3 schedule being reshuffled. The first week of games should be held between Aug. 20-24 and the second between Aug. 27-31.
This would mean the Rams would open SoFi Stadium on Aug. 22 as the visiting team against the Chargers, a game scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
All of this could change as health and safety issues continue to unfold, but the NFL has not changed the date when the bulk of players will arrive at training camp (July 28), or the Sept. 10 start date of the regular season.