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NFL will release schedule next week, season expected to start as planned despite coronavirus, report says – Fox News

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The NFL isn’t planning on adjusting its 2020 schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

With its schedule set for release next week, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that the regular season is expected to start as planned on Sept. 10, and the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay is still set for Feb. 7, ESPN reported.

“We plan to start on time,” McCarthy said.

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ESPN said that the league has looked into alternative plans, including working with the NFL Players Association and medical professionals to establish protocols, if the coronavirus outbreak were to continue.

The Sports Business Journal reported last Monday that possible contingencies discussed by the league included delaying the start of the season until Oct. 15 and moving the Super Bowl back to Feb. 28. Last month, the Washington Post reported that the league was looking into playing games in empty or partially filled stadiums.

The NFL Network reported on March 31 that the league has planned to release the schedule no later than May 9. So far, the NFL has adjusted some of its offseason activities because of the coronavirus. One of the first activities was the NFL Draft, which took place virtually with coaches and executives from all 32 teams operating from their homes.

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The league and players association agreed to a voluntary virtual offseason program ending no later than May 15 since team facilities have been closed.

There have not yet been any changes to the preseason schedule, with the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers still on track to play the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 6.

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