Roger Goodell announces cancellation of NFL preseason games

Commissioner pens letter to fans explaining how challenging the pandemic has been for the league, while maintaining a commitment to getting players back on the field

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The 2020 NFL preseason games have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The regular season is set to begin on September 10. 

“COVID-19 will continue to present a major challenge to nearly every area of American life. Football is no exception,” Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to fans. 

READ MORE: 95 NFL players test positive for COVID-19

The NFL commissioner wrote, “Every step of the way, our focus has been on the safety of players, coaches, personnel, fans, and our communities. Our planning has followed the lead of medical experts and public health officials, including the CDC, the White House Task Force, governors, and state health officials.”


“As we have developed our 2020 playbook for the return of football, safety continues to be our first priority; that commitment will remain paramount as players return to the field.”

According to the NFL Players Association wrote last week that 59 players have so far tested positive for COVID-19. 

“The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years. Players and coaches will be tested for the virus regularly, including every day for a while. Preseason games have been canceled,” Goodell wrote, “When there is a positive test, strict regulations will be enforced to isolate and care for that individual and to contain the virus before it spreads. Even the sideline will look different.“

READ MORE: Russell Wilson shares concerns about NFL return amid COVID-19 pandemic

The commissioner concluded the letter saying, “While this year will forever be defined by a heartbreaking global pandemic and a transformative social justice movement, I am reminded of the tenacious, resilient spirit of our country, the NFL community, and you, the greatest fans in the world.”

The regular season is now set to begin on September 10. State and local officials will determine if fans will be able to participate in the season. 

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