With only three preseason games, the preseason nevertheless will begin when it usually does.
Packers CEO Mark Murphy said Tuesday that what was the fourth week of the preseason will now be a bye week. This means that there will be two weeks between the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season.
Under the four-game preseason, all teams typically played the final exhibition contest on Thursday, two days before the roster cuts from 90 to 53.
With three weeks in the preseason, the NFL apparently will try to maximize viewership by clustering the games on weekends.
“One of the hopes quite honestly is that you would have more teams play [preseason games] on Saturday and weekends,” Murphy said.
Murphy still expects final roster cuts to be made on Labor Day weekend. With the preseason ending a week or more earlier, teams could decide to begin making cuts well before the deadline for finalizing a 53-man complement of players.