The scheduled start of training camp is so close you can smell it. It’s an intoxicating scent, a melange of hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and sweat. But seriously, is this happening? Is this really happening?! Short answer: we don’t know ... yet.
There’s still a lot to be sorted out between the NFL and the player’s association between now and Week 1 of the regular season. One would think they could’ve addressed some of the remaining logistical hurdles over the past several months, but, ya know, shenanigans. One thing they need to figure out is the preseason. Will there be preseason games? If so, how many?
We were told earlier this month that both Week 1 and Week 4 of the preseason would be cancelled. But now it appears the Falcons and the rest of the NFL will only have the benefit of a single preseason game to get ready for the regular season. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio had this to report.
A league source tells PFT that one preseason game is currently the “very likely” outcome to the negotiations aimed at getting the various rules resolved before camps open. Ideally, the games would consist of minimal travel (e.g., Jets vs. Giants, Chargers vs. Rams, Ravens vs. TBD), with the goal of having all games proceed with no teams flying.
If you’ve watched any preseason football, then you undoubtedly understand exactly who this effects. Because a 16-week regular season takes its toll and no team wants to risk injuring their starters in a game that doesn’t count, preseason games primarily feature backups and fringe prospects trying to keep their NFL dreams afloat. The veterans already know how to get into football shape, but players on the margins depend on those games. Even if you’re likely to be cut, the film you generate will dictate your future opportunities, or lack thereof.
Thinking ahead, a one week preseason is going to limit the opportunities of many of the undrafted free agents we’ve highlighted since the draft. Guys like Mikey Daniels and Jared Pinkney will need to make training camp count if they want to have a future in Atlanta.
Your thoughts about this distinct possibility, Falcoholics?