For those inclined to be pessimistic about pro football in 2020, plenty of evidence exists to support the suspicion that the season won’t happen. For those inclined to be optimistic, it’s getting harder to find lifelines on which to cling.
That said, the fact that the NFL has canceled the Hall of Fame game means little as to whether the regular season will proceed.
Consider the context, and the circumstances. With teams getting accustomed to training camp in a pandemic, including efforts to establish a system that keeps players apart in the facility and that ensures no players who have the virus will be on a practice field, the last thing any team needs is to pack up the operation and face players from another team at a neutral site. Really, why take the Steelers and Cowboys out of their facilities and drop them in Ohio for a couple of days before intermingling their droplets for a game that means nothing? Why disrupt their ability to develop the right rhythm and routine during a training camp unlike any other for an extra preseason game that none of the other 30 teams will play?
It’s a no-brainer to make this move, and ultimately a non-sequitur as to whether the games that count will be played. Thus, while it may be challenging to look at the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game as anything other than a harbinger of doom and gloom, the ability to play in September has no real correlation to the decision not to play in early August.
That doesn’t mean the season will happen. It only means that the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game doesn’t impact the regular season, one way or the other.