The reduction of the preseason would allow teams more time to prepare for the regular season, given that many players have struggled to stay fit during the pandemic.
The players’ association would have to approve the move, and the NFL Network reported that was not a sure thing, given that the players prefer to drop the preseason entirely.
The preseason had been scheduled to start on Aug. 13, and run through Sept. 3. The traditional opener, the Hall of Fame Game, scheduled for Aug. 6, has already been canceled. The regular season would begin on Thursday night, Sept. 10, with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs hosting the Texans, followed by a full slate of games on Sunday, Sept. 13.
The N.F.L. went to four preseason games in 1978, when it expanded the regular season to 16 games from 14. Before that, teams played six preseason games.
Players are expected to arrive for training camps from July 25 to 28. Over the last few months, they have been working out and meeting with position coaches mostly remotely.