4:06 PM ET
NFL owners began planning for the possibility that their 2020 regular season will be cut short by COVID-19 cancellations, one of several developments from a two-hour video meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking later on a conference call, commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated that the league is “committed” to completing its full regular season in its scheduled 17-week interval. But after the league’s most recent COVID-19 testing report indicated a sharp rise in confirmed cases, Goodell acknowledged the importance of determining an alternative should the season end with not all teams having played 16 games.
If that happens, the league will expand its postseason from 14 to 16 teams, split equally between the AFC and NFC. It was not immediately clear how many games would need to be canceled for the 16-team bracket to be enacted.
“Today’s resolution is part of our contingency planning should it be needed,” Goodell said.
Tuesday’s news coincided with the release of a COVID-19 testing report that reflected the growing case counts around the country. A total of 56 employees, including 15 players and 41 staff members, returned confirmed positive tests between Nov. 1-7. That’s more than twice the total of