With the NFL Draft wrapping up this past weekend, the date of the next big event for the Minnesota Vikings is to be determined. With OTAs and presumably minicamp relegated to a virtual workout, the postponement of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a real possibility.
On Monday, a report by John Ourand and Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal said that the NFL is making preparations for that scenario including delaying the season debut until mid-October.
According to the report, the NFL will release a normal 16-game, 17-week schedule but will have several precautions built-in. One precaution could be shifting the first two weeks of the season to the back end of the schedule.
If the NFL has to delay later, their Week 3 schedule will feature teams playing against each other with the same bye week. If the NFL has to push the season further than three weeks, those games will be played on the teams' originally scheduled bye week, which will be eliminated.
The final scenario is the most extreme as the league will also eliminate the Pro Bowl, which is played the week between the conference championships and Super Bowl and push the Super Bowl all the way back to Feb. 21, 2021.
This also doesn't take into effect how ready different states will be to host professional sporting events in the fall. For example, Minnesota's guidelines state that such events will be one of the last things to re-open as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For now, the Vikings will prepare for their 2020 season which begins with a virtual rookie minicamp this week, but when their season will actually begin is anyone's guess.