A Super Bowl that kicks off on Feb. 28.
A regular season that starts as late as Thursday, Oct. 15.
An NFL season with no bye weeks or Pro Bowl.
These are all contingencies that the NFL has considered as the league moves forward with its plans to hold a full regular season.
The league’s executives are trying to put themselves in the best position to fit in a full season, or at least a nearly full season, even if there are delays.
NFL schedule-makers are in the process of designing a 2020 season that has several different wrinkles. When the schedule is released next month, it will look like a standard 16-game, 17-week slate, but it will be designed to allow for several steps that could become necessary depending on the state of the pandemic. (The 17-game regular season agreed to in the new CBA goes into effect with the 2021 season.)
In one version, the start of the season could be delayed by up to five weeks with relatively few adjustments. Such a scenario would have Super Bowl LV, currently set for Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa, pushed back by three weeks. If that happens, it could compete with other big events that typically try to avoid Super Bowl Sunday.
The league and its broadcast partners are prioritizing keeping a full 16-game regular season and the Super Bowl staying in February.
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