Over the past few weeks, the NFL has had to be flexible in rescheduling games due to positive COVID-19 tests around the league.
The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans have seen two of their games moved as a result of positive COVID-19 tests. Tennessee is set to play the second of its two rescheduled games tonight against the Buffalo Bills.
Meanwhile, the Titans’ Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was moved to Week 7. On Tuesday afternoon, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed reporters about the 2020 season.
Reporters asked Goodell if the league would consider adding a “Week 18” in order to provide flexibility moving forward. The NFL commissioner suggested it’s a real possibility.
“Flexibility is going to be critical,” Goodell said via ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
About the possibility of a Week 18 being added to the NFL schedule, Roger Goodell tells reporters, "Flexibility is going to be critical."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 13, 2020
The NFL has already been forced to move five games so far in the first five weeks of the season. It would be unsurprising if further positive tests around the league forced the NFL to expand the season – if only by a week.
Analysts from around the media landscape have also suggested creating a “bubble” for the playoffs. The NBA had tremendous success keeping its team healthy and COVID-19 free for months.
The NFL could take a similar approach for the playoffs, where the AFC and NFC could create a bubble of their own. Los Angeles and Dallas have been tossed around as potential cites.
However, the NFL could easily decide not to go with the bubble route.
One thing is certain, the schedule will continue to change.