July 1 (UPI) — The NFL is shortening its 2020 preseason schedule from four games to two because the league continues to put together its technique for the upcoming season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

League sources advised ESPN and ProFootballTalk on Wednesday that the league canceled Weeks 1 and four of its unique preseason slate. The NFL beforehand scrapped its Aug. eight Corridor of Fame recreation between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Most NFL gamers will nonetheless report to coaching camp on the finish of July, however the first preseason matchups will not happen till Aug. 20-24, in accordance to ESPN. The second and remaining week of preseason contests will probably be performed Aug. 27-31.

The NFL additionally will shuffle among the remaining preseason schedule, giving every workforce one house recreation and one on the highway. Groups that will probably be required to journey will depart on the day earlier than games.

The primary purpose for restructuring the preseason schedule was a consensus between the league and the NFL Gamers Affiliation that gamers will want extra time to get in soccer form, in accordance to ESPN. No NFL groups had been allowed to maintain practices on the sector throughout this low season due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The NFL’s normal preseason has been four games because it was shortened from six matchups in 1978. In accordance to ESPN, it’s anticipated to be trimmed additional when league house owners set off a provision within the collective bargaining settlement to lengthen the common season from 16 games to 17, which will be performed as early as 2021.