The NFL has adjusted on the fly throughout the offseason in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That will continue to be the case in the fall.
Shortly after Thursday's 2020 schedule was announced, Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement reiterating the league will remain flexible in these uncertain times.
"We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this offseason in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual draft off-season program, and the 2020 NFL Draft," the statement said.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport offered a few possibilities for how the schedule could be revised, including extending the season or canceling certain games.
"In Week 2, every opponent has the same bye week later in the season," Rapoport said Friday on NFL NOW. "... [If] that slate of games could not be played at that time, all those games could then be made up later in the season. Another example: During Weeks 3 and 4, there are no bye weeks, so everyone is playing equitable there, and no division games. So if something happened, those two weeks could theoretically be lopped off if the league absolutely had to. ...
"They also could take the first four weeks of the season, move them to the back end and extend just a little bit longer, have the Super Bowl potentially in late February."
On Wednesday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the league dispersed a memo to all 32 teams laying out protocols on how team facilities may reopen, including consent from state government officials, establishment of a club infection response team, and social distancing.
As the NFL plans for a Sept. 10 opening kickoff, Goodell reminded that the league will follow the latest medical and public health advice and comply with government regulations, while implementing appropriate safety protocols "to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities."