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NFL’s 2020 schedule for Browns and other NFL teams to be released by May 9; ‘full season’ expected

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 3/31/2020 By Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates a touchdown reception by Jarvis Landry last December. John Kuntz, © John Kuntz, cleveland.com/cleveland.com/cleveland.com/TNS Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates a touchdown reception by Jarvis Landry last December. John Kuntz,

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Browns fans can circle May 9 on their calendars for the approximate release of the 2020 schedule, and the NFL stated Tuesday that it expects to play a full slate despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our planning, our expectation, is fully directed at playing a full season starting on schedule and having a full regular season and a full set of playoffs," NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. “Am I certain? I'm not certain that I'll be here tomorrow. But I'm planning on it."

Pash said his belief stems from the flattening of the curve that has occurred in other countries.

“I think what the doctors are looking at are models that address the effectiveness of different kinds of interventions, on how the curve has trended down and tailed off in other countries, and what they believe will be the result based on the modeling that’s been done in this country.

“Keeping in mind that we’re still in March, so there are quite a few months between now and when our season would begin, the belief and the information that we have is leading us to continue to focus on having the season start on time and be played in a normal way.”

Pash added that “all of our discussions and focus have been on a normal traditional season, starting on time, playing in front of fans, in our regular stadiums.”

The regular season is set to begin on Thursday, Sept. 10 with a game hosted by the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs.

NFL owners vote to expand from 12 to 14 playoff teams

Pash also said that he expects the league to play all of international games, which could involve the Browns, who have a 40% chance of playing the Jaguars in London’s Wembley Stadium, where Jacksonville will play two of its home games back-to-back this season.

In other NFL news:

* Pash said the NFL is exploring virtual programs for voluntary offseason workouts and meetings, which have been postponed indefinitely. The Browns were scheduled to begin their offseason program April 6.

* The league will consider awarding the 2022 draft to Las Vegas, which won’t get to host it this year. Cleveland is scheduled to host the next in-person draft, in 2021.

* During the NFL Draft April 23-25, teams will be permitted to have 10 or fewer people in a room and they must be six feet apart. The NFL will try to set the tone for social distancing during the event.

* The NFL’s annual spring meeting, scheduled from May 18-20 in California, is expected to take place. Coaches and GMs are expected to attend this meeting since the annual meeting was canceled.

The fact that the NFL believes it will conduct a full season and start on time is consistent with the message that Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam sent to season tickets holders in a email last week.

Haslams expect to host a full season

“While these circumstances are certainly fluid and evolving, we currently expect to host a full NFL season this year and are excited to get back on the field when appropriate, despite the cancellation of public access to the NFL draft in Las Vegas and the indefinite postponement of offseason programs throughout the League,” the Haslams said. “In the meantime, our coaches, personnel group and players remain hard at work to prepare for what we hope will be an exciting 2020 Browns season.”

Here are the Browns’ opponents for 2020:

HOME

Bengals

Raiders

Colts

Eagles

Ravens

Redskins

Steelers

Texans

AWAY

Bengals

Cowboys

Giants

Jaguars

Jets

Ravens

Steelers

Titans

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Browns’ chances of making 2020 playoffs increase: owners approve expansion to 14 teams

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What could a trade for Trent Williams mean for the Browns’ draft plans? 2020 NFL mock draft 6.0

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