NFL to release 2020 schedule on Thursday night

Sports

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates a long pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL will release its regular-season schedule on Thursday night, the league announced Monday, as it continues conducting business mostly as usual amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The schedule will be revealed in a 3-hour telecast on NFL Network starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Thus far, the league has not announced any major changes to its schedule as a result of the pandemic, which has brought most organized sports around the globe to a halt. NFL training facilities are closed because of the pandemic, leading to the league’s first-ever “virtual offseason,” but the league still plans to start the season on time while playing in teams’ home stadiums.

Opening day for the 2020 season is Sept. 10, with the season set to conclude with Super Bowl 55 on February 7, 2021. The NFL also held last month’s draft on time while canceling all in-person events. The draft had been set for Las Vegas; instead, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced picks from his home.

Should the pandemic force major changes to the season, the league is considering alternatives including empty stadiums, neutral sites and getting rid of bye weeks, league executive Troy Vincent told The Associated Press last week. Any such changes would have to be approved by the players union.

Earlier Monday, the NFL announced it was moving its five games scheduled for London and Mexico City this season back to U.S. stadiums.

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