Coronavirus: NFL to announce 2020 schedule on Thursday
- Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the NFL is pressing ahead with its plan to start the season as scheduled in September.
In keeping with its plan of playing a full season and starting in September amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL will reveal its 2020 schedule in a prime-time viewing event on Thursday.
The schedule unveiling will take place during a three-hour television broadcast on the NFL Network beginning at 20:00 ET. The show will also include analysis on selected games as well as virtual interviews with coaches and general managers.
Opponents for all 32 teams, both home and away, were announced in December. Among the most notable matchups will be defending Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Baltimore Ravens – who finished with the league's best regular-season record in 2019 at 14-2.
The game also features the last two NFL MVPs going head-to-head in Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson and Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes.
On the NFC side, the San Francisco 49ers will host the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of last season's conference title game.
Primetime games.— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 5, 2020
2020 Schedule Release | Thursday 8PM ET on NFL Network pic.twitter.com/sw501N8oBn
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also figure to be featured prominently on prime-time after adding six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady in free agency and luring another former New England Patriots star, tight end Rob Gronkowski, out of a one-year retirement.
The schedule will not include four previously scheduled games in London and another in Mexico City, as the NFL announced on Monday it will hold those contests in the United States as a result of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were slated to host two games at London's Wembley Stadium, while two were to be played at Tottenham's new stadium with the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins the designated home teams. The Arizona Cardinals were to be the home team at Mexico City's Azteca Stadium.
Each of those games will be moved to the site of the designated home team.
The NFL has remained steadfast in its plans for a traditional September start date and a complete regular season and preseason while it continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.
The league has yet to determine whether preseason and early regular-season games will be held without fans in attendance, a possible necessity if a full season is to take place.