As the NFL approaches the midway point of the 2020 season, NFL EVP of football operations Troy Vincent issued a memo on Friday addressing rescheduling games due to COVID-19 concerns.
The memo, which was obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, reminds clubs to "strictly adhere" to all protocols in order to decrease the risk of spreading the virus while also noting that, as the season progresses, it will become more difficult for the league to continue to readjust its schedule.
"These adjustments have not caused significant disruption to the season. As the action progresses, however, rescheduling options will become increasingly limited," Vincent stated. "Eventually, further adjustments will cause disruption and jeopardize our collective ability to complete season within the current framework."
So far, through the first seven weeks, 14 games have either been rescheduled or postponed in response to issues stemming from the ongoing pandemic. Prior to the start of the season, the NFL expressed its committment to play all 256 regular season games within its standard 17-week timeframe.
Most recently, a primetime Week 7 matchup between the Buccaneers and Raiders had to be moved to Sunday afternoon after Las Vegas placed two of its players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Saturday that Friday's round of testing confirmed that the Raiders did not have any new positive cases, meaning Sunday's game will be played as scheduled barring sudden changes. The Saints were also determined to be in the clear after placing Emmanuel Sanders on the list Friday.
Vincent concluded the memo by stressing how important it will continue to be for all players and personnel to do their part to ensure the campaign reaches its conclusion.
"If as a result of COVID protocol breaches, positive tests and/or high-risk close contacts cause a game to be postponed, moved or even canceled, that club risks negative competitive implications, including accountability measures being assessed against the offending club," he wrote. "The impact of one club's protocol violations could affect the entire league, including postseason formatting and scheduling. It will take all of us to successfully complete this season within the scheduled timeframe."