Why the NFL canceled 2020 international games, remembering Don Shula

The schedule release is coming, pandemic or no pandemic …


• We got our answer on Monday on the International Series, with those five games brought back stateside, as expected. One of the primary reasons why is really interesting—and sheds some light into the NFL’s planning for the fall. As the league worked with London mayor Sadiq Khan, and officials from Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur in the UK, and Televisa in Mexico, the differences in circumstances from country to country became apparent. As part of returning to the field in the fall, the NFL plans to implement strict protocols at its stadiums, I’m told, and it was clear in talks that it was going to be hard to impose the same ones internationally at venues that would only be hosting a game or two. Of course, the bigger reasons center on how problematic sending hundreds of people to and from foreign countries is at this juncture. But it’s at least notable that the protocols that are being planned are stringent enough to have played a role in scuttling those dates.

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