Amid the coronavirus pandemic, NFL teams will play only two preseason games instead of the usual four, Pro Football Talk reported Wednesday.
For the Miami Dolphins, that would mean cancellation of the Aug. 14 first preseason game at the Atlanta Falcons and the Sept. 3 fourth preseason game at the New Orleans Saints.
That would leave the Dolphins with preseason home games against the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 20 and Detroit Lions on Aug. 27.
But the NFL apparently prefers all teams play one home game and one road game in preseason, according to a source.
That could mean a new opponent and new venue for the Dolphins in one of those two preseason games because the Eagles and Lions play at home in the preseason week they’re not playing at Miami.
The Dolphins and NFL declined to comment.
The thinking in cutting the preseason is to reduce the risk of spread of the coronavirus, while also giving players more time to acclimate themselves after not participating in any on-field work at their facilities this offseason.
NFL rookies are permitted to report to training camp on July 21 and quarterbacks on July 23, according to Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule. The other players are due to report July 28.
The Dolphins haven’t said if any of their 14 or 15 training camp practices will be open to fans, which is traditionally the case.
But team president Tom Garfinkel said Wednesday that he is optimistic — though not certain — that some fans will be able to attend Dolphins games.
Miami opens the regular season Sept. 13 at New England, then plays Buffalo at home on Sept. 20.
The Dolphins’ roster stands at 87 players, four under what they are permitted to carry.
Meanwhile, the NFL will not hold a supplemental draft this year, according to NFL Network.