NFL set to scale back preseason to two games, which would put Titans at home vs. Giants, on road at Tampa

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The NFL preseason is being scrunched, with the first and the fourth week erased from the schedule, per reports from ESPN and PFT.

The intention is for every team to play once at home and once on the road while the league sorts through the coronavirus pandemic.

That means the Titans trip to Washington for a game on Aug. 15 would be off as would be the Bears' visit to Music City on Sept. 3. The Titans are scheduled to be home against the Giants in the second week of the preseason and at the Buccaneers in the third week.

A later report from NFL Media said the NFLPA has not signed off and some leadership would like for there to be no preseason games, a set up it's hard to imagine the league falling in line with.TitansDoubleLogo

The rationale for eliminating the first game is largely that, after teams had no time on the field throughout the offseason, it will take them longer to get up to speed and into full football condition after starting camp, which for most teams including Tennessee will begin on July 29. [Unlocked.]

The cancellation of the final game will allow teams to get a full 20 days between the conclusion of Week 3 of the preseason and the start of the first Sunday of the regular season to maximize time to deal with positive tests for COVID-19 from training camp. But there can still certainly be scenarios where that window won’t be sufficient.

Teams will also be able to get stadiums in order for whatever limits on capacity will be in place and whatever measures they will impose for social distancing without some of them having to host games.

Franchise operations staffs will have taken teams on the road once to see how everything will work under COVID-19 restrictions, but not a second time for a game that has no bearing on the standings and features a larger roster.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

A team is typically beyond ready for a game, or at least a scrimmage, after two weeks of camp.

Presuming Tennessee's Week 2 and 3 games stay as scheduled, the Titans will now wait 24 days from the commencement of camp until they host the Giants for the first of their two preseason games on Saturday, Aug. 22nd and then will travel to Tampa Bay a week later to play the Buccaneers on the 29th.

Then, as they don’t open until the nightcap of the Monday Night doubleheader in Denver, they will wait 16 more days before kicking off the regular season provided everything goes smoothly for the NFL.

Jon Robinson has said that in a scenario with fewer preseason games by which to judge undrafted rookie free agents and long-shot players, he, Mike Vrabel and their staffs would be more reliant than usual on practices, college game film and forecasting than they have been in the past to make some judgments about final roster spots and in filling out the expanded practice squad.

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