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Report: NFL considering shortening preseason to two games

Los Angeles Chargers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The NFL and NFLPA are discussing the possibility of shortening the 2020 preseason, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. There is nothing finalized or imminent at the moment. Still, Pelissero says multiple team executives informed of talks currently believe they could end up playing two preseason games rather than four. This would allow for teams to report as currently scheduled while also having a longer ramp-up period to get players acclimated and provide extra time for medical experts to finalize game-day protocols for testing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

San Francisco 49ers’ head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it no secret that he would prefer to play two games instead of four. If the preseason is shortened, it’ll provide a test case for how well NFL coaches can prepare their teams for the regular season on a short runway. The preseason always felt unnecessary and opened up a bigger risk for players to get injured. We saw it last year. Every team is gets hit with injuries in August. I don’t think the preseason is pointless as there is no way to simulate live reps. Shortening the preseason will also hurt the players on the bottom of the roster fighting for a spot.

On Wednesday morning, Adam Schefter reported that training camps are set to open on July 28.

The 49ers preseason schedule is currently:

8/15 at Broncos

8/21 vs. Raiders

8/29 at Bears

9/3 at Chargers

Generally speaking, the starters play a series in the first game, a quarter in the second game, a half in the third game, and don’t suit up in the fourth game. Let’s say the NFL and NFLPA agree to reduce the preseason to two games. How will that affect the playing time? Will the starters get to play a full half in one game and call it a preseason? How do you find out whether your fifth linebacker is better than your sixth? We could see more scrimmages and competitive periods in practice.

How do you feel about shortening the preseason? Long overdue?