NFL currently planning to play Hall of Fame Game as scheduled
The NFL is one of the few sports associations doing its level best to keep as close to a business-as-usual approach as conceivably possible during such unprecedented times. Going with that route, the plan as of now is to hold the Hall of Fame Game as scheduled in August.
As things stand, the game is currently a showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio. While all league plans are of course subject to change amid the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, a statement from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game indicates either postponing or canceling the game entirely is not currently on the radar.
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is planning on kicking off the NFL’s season in Canton on August 6th at the Hall of Fame Game with a full and safe schedule of Enshrinement activities for the best four days in football,” David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said in an email to the Star-Telegram. “If the NFL season is delayed for any reason, we will adapt accordingly.”
Baker predictably inserted a caveat into his statement related to the increasingly evolving potential that the 2020 NFL season could be delayed an indeterminate amount of time amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
If changes are made to the offseason schedule, including a complete curtailing of OTAs and/or a delay in when training camps would be held, the Hall of Fame Game’s early-August timing arguably would be impossible to accommodate.
Of course, the league is going on with 2020 NFL Draft as scheduled later this month, albeit virtually, something in and of itself is causing concern among some head coaches around the league.
All that being said, the NFL will have no choice but to comply with governmental edicts, orders and protocols issued by both federal and stage agencies. While playing the Hall of Fame Game as scheduled obviously would be welcomed by fans, whether or not it actually plays out that way arguably is not even in the NFL’s control at this point.