NFL Considering Smaller Rosters for 2020 Preseason

Zimmer and Spielman talking
Oct 18, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer (L) speaks with general manager Rick Spielman (R) prior to their game against the Kansas City Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, NFL team’s will not have a full 90-man-roster this preseason. His sources seem unsure what the number of players will be, but with the cutting of weeks one and four of the preseason, teams will need less active players on their roster.

To go along with this, it seems that the NFL will be expanding team practice squads from 10 players to somewhere in the neighborhood of 16-20 for the 2020 NFL season. This would allow teams to have a bigger stash of players in the event of a COVID breakout on their team.


However, I question the logic of that. If the practice squad players are still around the facility and around the team, what is to stop them from getting sick. Sure, you have more than the traditional 53-man-roster to pick from, but if anybody in your organization is sick, you must assume that everybody in your organization has been in contact with the disease.

If the roster is less for the preseason, the Vikings will likely be immediately cutting a good portion of their 27 man rookie class. 15 of those rookies were draft picks with an additional 12 undrafted free agents. This would be extremely unorthodox, but what isn’t right now?

This uncertainty brings even more into question whether this year’s NFL season will happen. Surely fans and teams alike want it, but is it worth it to risk the health of your players when almost nothing can be done to fully control the disease? You always take a risk playing football, but this one may be too much for players to handle.