NFL Rumors: Owners Approve Playoff Expansion If COVID-19 Impacts Schedule

COVID-19 has been a major thorn in the NFL's side this season


November 10, 2020

The NFL is a little more than halfway through its regular season schedule, though COVID-19 eventually could throw a wrench into the league’s plans.

But have no fear. There’s a Plan B.

NFL owners have unanimously approved a plan that would expand this year’s playoff field from 14 to 16 teams if meaningful games are not played thanks to COVID-19, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. It’ll take a special set of circumstances to get there, though.

The NFL already has plans to extend the regular season an extra week to accomodate for any games that might not fit into the original 17-week schedule. Plan B, however, would go into motion should the league be unable to finish all 256 games by Week 17 or 18 before the postseason begins.

A third wild card spot already has been added to each conference for this postseason, upping the total teams competing from 12 to 14. Only one team per conference this year, unlike the usual two.

The NFL is wise to put a policy like this in place, especially considering the frequency in which positive COVID-19 tests have been and continue to be returned this season. If they want to assure they complete this season (which is scheduled to run deep into the flu season), the league needs to have all its bases covered, and this is big step in the right direction.

Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images
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