We already knew that the league intended to release a 2020 season plan next week, but a new wrinkle in its COVID-19 adjustment options has emerged. According to Andrew Marchand at the New York Post, the league may consider adding more Saturday games if there is no college football season played. Marchand points out in his article that there are more constraints on college football than professional football that may set up such a scenario:
The college game has more uncontrollable variables than the NFL starting with the fact that the players aren’t true professionals. If students aren’t on campus in the fall, it is hard to see how football players could be asked to compete. Crowd attendance is also more important for the majority of college programs’ bottom lines than it is to the NFL.
The league has held games for many years on Saturdays after most of the college football regular season is done in December, and playoff games on Saturdays have routinely done quite well in terms of television ratings. NFL football posted overall gains in 2019 over its already strong television numbers in 2018, so the gradual spread of games over more parts of the broadcast schedule (like Thursday nights and Sunday nights) looks like the right strategy.
Now, we have no idea what the next few months has in store, and nobody knows what the NCAA and its partners are going to do. It is interesting to think about what Saturday triple-headers all season long would be like, though.
And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Speaking of NFL events on Saturdays, if you watched the NFL Draft last week, you were not alone. According to the league’s official site, all-time viewership records were broken in 2020, and the Draft-A-Thon fundraising campaign raised over $100 million.
- Newly signed UDFA tight end Hunter Bryant may be a name to watch, according to The Athletic’s Arif Hasan’s consensus board rank chart (h/t to Lion’s Wire’s Jeff Risdon for spotting this):
Top UDFA classes and the top 25 UDFAs by consensus board rank— Arif Hasan, but inside (@ArifHasanNFL) April 30, 2020
(value number is arbitrary but useful in this case to demonstrate scale) pic.twitter.com/J22eNWHnxe
Click on the second picture in that tweet and look at the first name at the top.
- Tim Twentyman at the official team site analyzed the situation at running back following the addition of two rookies last week in the draft.
- We pointed out the great mailbag column by Justin Rogers at the Detroit News did yesterday, but it turns out there’s MORE. He had so many good questions (and good answers) that a second wild mailbag column has appeared! Really interesting bits about the run game, especially the lead question on the Lions selecting Swift in the second round as opposed to other highly-regarded running backs in the prospect pool.
- Marvin Jones Jr. and his wife Jazmyn continue to contribute to support front line health care workers in the fight against the pandemic:
"When I see the impact it's had on people's lives, especially people in hospitals – people that are not going home but staying in the hospital to work and fight this thing – they're incredible."@MarvinJonesJr & his wife Jazmyn provided 1,000 meals to @HenryFordNews workers. pic.twitter.com/b2ZUhbJXVq— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 1, 2020