The ever-optimistic NFL will release its 2020 schedule this week with a full slate of 256 games over 17 weeks.
The one thing that will be missing will be any international games, including what might have been a trip to Mexico for the Eagles and their fans.
The league had planned to play four games in London and a fifth in Mexico this season as part of its international series. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it wisely announced Monday that it has canceled those games.
The Arizona Cardinals were going to be the home team for the game in Mexico City this year. The Eagles are scheduled to play the Cardinals on the road this season, which made them a potential candidate for the Mexico City game. That game will be played at the Cardinals’ home stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
“After considerable analysis we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the U.S., Mexico, and U.K.,’’ said NFL executive vice president Christopher Halpin.
“We greatly appreciate the support of our government and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom who all agree with this decision, and we all look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season.’’
The NFL has been playing at least one regular-season game in London since 2007. It played two there in 2013, then expanded to three in 2014. It played four there last year. The Jacksonville Jaguars were going to become the first NFL team to play back-to-back games in London this season.
While the NFL is planning to start its season on time on Sept. 10, play a full season, and finish with Super Bowl LV on February 7 in Tampa, it isn’t oblivious to what’s going on with the pandemic.
It has discussed contingency plans, including an abbreviated training camp, playing the season without fans, moving the season back five weeks, shortening it, and moving the Super Bowl back as late as the end of February.