CLEVELAND — While other professional sports leagues await a return to action, the NFL is operating virtually business as usual despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis hitting the United States. That will continue on Tuesday, when owners are expected to vote on playoff expansion.
According to multiple reports, the vote will take place on a teleconference and would need 75 percent (24 of 32 teams) of the vote in order to expand the playoff format. If approved, the new 14-team format would go into effect for the 2020 season.
Under the new playoff format, seven teams from the NFC and seven teams from the AFC would qualify for the postseason. The current format includes 12 teams making the playoffs.
Also under the new format, only the No. 1 seed from each conference would receive a first-round bye. Wild Card weekend would feature six teams from each conference.
Last week, the NFL announced in a memo to all 32 teams that it would still be holding the NFL Draft from April 23-April 25 despite the coronavirus outbreak. Commissioner Roger Goodell notified teams that there is to be no public talk about the NFL's decision to still hold the draft. The NFL Draft will not be held in Las Vegas as had been previously planned and will not be open to the public.
Details on TV rights and game times for a new playoff format are not yet clear. The NFL last expanded its playoff format in 1990.