The NFL is canceling its annual Hall of Fame Game, which this year was to feature the Dallas Cowboys against the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 6 on NBC. The traditionally preseason opener in Canton, Ohio, the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is played ahead of the hall’s induction ceremony, which has now been postponed.
Both events were scrubbed because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report on the league’s website. The NFL is still planning a full season that would start September 10; both the Cowboys and Steelers would have started training camps early due to the game but now are expected to convene with the rest of the teams at the end of July.
The league has been adamant that its 2020 season would begin on time. It held its draft virtually earlier this year. It’s unclear whether today’s decision could impact the currently planned four-week preseason.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the state has 46,759 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,755 deaths as some parts of the U.S. are seeing new spikes in cases as regions continue relaxing stay-at-home orders.
Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Troy Polamalu, Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young had been set to join the Hall of Fame this year. The ceremony will now be held sometime in 2021.
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