NFL unveils its 2020 schedule — with no guarantee games will be played

If there is an opening weekend, a QB confrontation between Tom Brady and Drew Brees highlights the first slate of games.

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By David K. Li

The National Football League unveiled its 2020 schedule on Thursday night, with a dramatic playoff rematch and a battle of all-time great quarterbacks during the opening weekend.

That is, if there is a Week 1 of the season.

With virtually all the world's professional sports on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's not at all clear if pro football will get underway as scheduled this fall.

“The release of the NFL schedule is something our fans eagerly anticipate every year, as they look forward with hope and optimism to the season ahead,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

“In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities."

Goodell added that, "We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary" for this 2020 season.

For now, the opening game would be a primetime Thursday matchup on Sept. 10 with the Houston Texans visiting the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs. Back in January, Houston raced to a 24-0 lead at Kansas City, before the eventual champs stormed back for a 51-31 playoff win.

The first scheduled Sunday of NFL play would be highlighted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the New Orleans Saints at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sept. 13. That game would likely feature two sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterbacks — New Orleans' Drew Brees and Tampa Bay's Tom Brady, who was signed away as a free agent from the New England Patriots this off-season.

President Donald Trump has urged pro sports, the NFL in particular, to get back in action as possible.

But California Gov. Gavin Newsom said last month he's not confident about the NFL season getting started on time. His state includes three teams — the past two NFC champions, the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams, and the L.A. Chargers.