Some Minnesota Vikings news dropped on Wednesday with the NFL reportedly canceling half of the 2020 preseason.
In a move that was anticipated by many, the Minnesota Vikings and the rest of the teams in the NFL will reportedly have their 2020 preseason schedule reduced by two games according to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio.
In addition to Florio’s findings, Weeks 1 and 4 of the preseason have been canceled and each team will now play one exhibition game at home and one on the road between the dates of August 20 and August 31 according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.
The Vikings were originally scheduled to face the Houston Texans in Week 1 of the preseason and the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, with both matchups taking place inside Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium. These appear to be the games that will no longer be played with Wednesday’s news.
Vikings News: Who are Minnesota’s remaining preseason opponents?
With the elimination of Weeks 1 and 4 of this year’s preseason, the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns are the only two teams left on the Vikings’ 2020 exhibition schedule.
Currently, both of these matchups are set to take place on the road for Minnesota. However, Seifert’s report indicates that one of these matchups will be changed into a home game for the Vikings.
So will Minnesota welcome the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft in Joe Burrow and the Bengals to the Twin Cities or will former Vikings assistant Kevin Stefanski make his return to U.S. Bank Stadium as the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns?
The decision to eliminate the first and last week of this year’s preseason will also allow teams to have more on-the-field training with their players after this was unable to happen during the spring thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If training camp begins on July 28 like it’s currently scheduled to, Minnesota will now have at least 24 days before their first preseason game and at least 12 days in between their final exhibition matchup and their first contest of the regular season.
Even with the extra time, it’s still going to be harder than ever for players on the bubble like undrafted rookies to earn a spot on the Vikings final roster. Minnesota might even choose to reduce their roster size before their first preseason matchup this summer.
So Vikings fans will now have to wait a little longer before they can see their team suit up for an actual game this year. But if the elimination of two preseason games allows for the team to be better prepared for the regular season, this is a decision that should be applauded by almost everyone.