The 2020 draft class was headlined by a couple of incoming quarterbacks. The preseason is going to be our first look at Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow. We will get to see them play extensive snaps, outside of Tua who they will be more careful with given the injury history. However these names are not the only ones to watch, as Jordan Love was a shock draft pick to Green Bay. Love will constantly be a name to watch for as he is an exciting prospect who rocked headlines going to Green Bay. Jalen Hurts is also going to get run in Philadelphia’s preseason. Overall we have a lot of new quarterbacks that will be starting in 2020 or will be starting within the next few years. This is when we can see them at the NFL level.
We also saw a lot of running backs come off the draft board. Jonathan Taylor landed in Indianapolis, J.K. Dobbins in Baltimore, and De’Andre Swift in Detroit. We also saw Clyde Edwards-Helaire go to Kansas City and Cam Akers go to the Los Angeles Rams. There are starting touches available and this preseason could give us a small look-in to how teams are going to use these backs. Committees have become a popular way to go and it seems most of these names will have a committee to deal with in year one. However we get to see them flash their first or second round potential for us and show what the next line of NFL backs could look like.
There were a handful of wide receivers in this draft, and the hype on this class was very high. This will also be our first chance to see these rookie wide receivers get to work. Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and CeeDee Lamb will be the focal points, but there are a lot of receivers that could carve out strong roles in preseason. As we work into weeks three and four, watch out for snaps and targets as they can potentially indicate what is going to happen in the regular season. There are a handful of teams with receiving cores that have not been decided just yet, and wide receivers drafted within the last three years are going to be fighting heavily for playing time.
Over the offseason we saw a lot of faces traded places, and more so than the last few offseason. Denver is loaded up on the offensive side now that they have a strong receiving core and added Melvin Gordon. The Cardinals traded for DeAndre Hopkins, giving away David Johnson to Houston. The preseason will be our chance to see these names. The Cardinals in general are going to be an exciting team to watch, and we can start to see that offense roll in preseason. Tampa Bay is going to be the talk of the country with Tom Brady there, and we have already seen the impact with Rob Gronkowski joining him and them also getting five primetime games this year. The preseason will be the first look we get at this new look Buccaneers offense.
Key Dates During The 2020 Preseason
Between August and September there is still a lot going on as waivers and roster finalizations are all taking place. Starting on August 6th, this is going to be the start of Hall of Fame weekend, which is when we get introduction ceremonies and also the Hall of Fame game. This game is between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers this year. August 11th ins the deadline for players under contract to report to their teams. They earn an accrued season for free agency if they do. However we see a lot of players holdout these days, and money begins to go out the window after this date. A rookie that hasn’t signed can’t be traded and either signs a player contract only with the team that drafted him.
On September 5th, this is going to be after all four preseason games, teams will have to cut down their rosters to 53 total people. This is called the active list, where players might go on the PUP list, inactive list, or practice squad. On September 6th begins the claiming period for players placed on waivers at final roster cuts. All squads and rosters must be finalized as the regular season will begin shortly after.
Nationally Televised Preseason Games
Preseason football is our chance to start watching football again after a very long offseason. The Hall of Fame Game is August 6th, which features the Cowboys and the Steelers. While we won’t see many big names play often, it is our first chance to see CeeDee Lamb play a few drives, and also the Steelers will have some healthy bodies after an injury-riddled 2019 season. The Jets and Lions is another preseason game that is televised, and this also gives us a chance to look some rookies like Denzel Mims and De’Andre Swift. The Jaguars and Buccaneers is also a televised game on August 22nd. We won’t see Tom Brady much, but it is the first of many televised Buccaneers games we get in 2020.
The Saints and Steelers are a Week 2 matchup that will be nationally televised on August 23rd. This would have been a battle between one of the top offenses and defenses in the game, but this is going to continue to be about getting looks at the lesser names. Washington and Indianapolis is the day after, and we get to see Philip Rivers a bit, but also exciting names like Michael Pitman and Jonathan Taylor. The Redskins will be getting Dwayne Haskins ready for his first full year as a starting quarterback.
In Week 3, the Bengals will travel to Atlanta. We should get an extensive look at Joe Burrow this week, and also more starters will play bigger minutes. Weeks 3 and 4 is when we generally see more everyday players get in on the action. This is similar to a pitch count in baseball. The Vikings and Browns is another Week 3 matchup, where there is a lot of star power. On the same day, Carolina and Baltimore will square off. Teddy Bridgewater has a big offseason and preseason ahead of him as he gets acclimated to his new team.
When Is The NFL Preseason?
The NFL preseason is about four weeks before the NFL regular season starts. In 2020, the NFL preseason will kick off on August 6th, which is the Steelers and Cowboys. The Hall of Fame game always marks the beginning of the preseason schedule.
What Is NFL Hall of Fame Game?
The NFL Hall of Fame Game is the first preseason game of the new NFL season, and is played on the same weekend as the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. This game is also one of the few preseason games aired on television.
How Many Weeks Is The NFL Preseason?
The NFL Preseason is spanned across four full weeks, leading up until the regular season. It is scheduled out how the regular season is scheduled, which means you have Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4 for preseason.
Do Starters Play In the NFL Preseason?
Each team will have their own way of dealing with starters, but starters will generally take it easy on playing time the first two weeks, and then gradually up their playing time to a full quarter or half over the last game or two.
Do Preseason NFL Games Count?
NFL preseason games do not count despite teams having a record. It is four weeks as teams use this as a chance to work on things and get a look at newer or young players. This is when teams will cut their roster down as well.
How Can I Watch Preseason NFL Games?
Your local team will have the games broadcasted on the local channel, but NFL preseason games outside of your local area will not be shown unless it is scheduled to be a nationally televised game. There is no red zone or full day of televised games like the regular season.
A preseason football game is going to be a game before the start of the regular season where teams will play a lot of backup and younger players to get more of a look at them as they make their roster decisions over the next few weeks.
Are Preseason NFL Games Televised?
There will be nationally televised preseason games featured on networks like NBC, ESPN, FOX, and CBS. If you are in an area with a local team, you will see games broadcasted on the local channels. These are the only way preseason games are televised.