After weeks of speculation, the NFL has officially cut the 2020 preseason in half, according to multiple reports.
2020 preseason has been cut in half, per source. Post coming at PFT.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 1, 2020
Each team will now play just two exhibition games this year, with the league eliminating Week 1 and 4 of the original schedule.
First, the decision cuts down on travel that teams would have to make for their second road contest. This is most likely related to fears of excessive travel leading to COVID-19 exposure.
Eliminating half of the slate also provides teams more time to prepare for the regular season, considering clubs were unable to participate in on-field work in-person this offseason.
With regards to the Steelers, they will still face the New Orleans Saints at home on Aug. 23 and travel to the New York Jets on Aug. 28, but will no longer host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 14 or visit the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 3.
Pittsburgh already saw one of their games eliminated when their Hall of Fame game matchup against the Cowboys was cancelled last week.
The NFL is expected to make an official announcement on the shortening of the 2020 preseason Thursday, with NFLPA approval still pending.