Published 5:37 PM EDT May 7, 2020
GREEN BAY – An air of uncertainty will surround the release Thursday evening of the Green Bay Packers’ schedule for the 2020 NFL season.
The Packers and other individual teams will release their regular-season and preseason schedules at 6:30 p.m. CDT (a half hour before the league schedule is unveiled at 7 p.m. on ESPN and NFL Network).
A report Wednesday that the first four weeks will feature only NFC vs. AFC games was incorrect: The Packers are scheduled to host the Detroit Lions in Week 2, a league source said. They will host the Chicago Bears on Nov. 29 (a night game the Sunday after Thanksgiving), the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 6 and the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 19 or 20, according to sources.
The Packers reportedly will open their season at Minnesota and visit New Orleans in Week 3:
Rumors began popping up Thursday morning. Danny Parkins of Chicago sports-radio station WSCR-670 AM tweeted that the Packers will host the Bears in the Sunday night game after Thanksgiving and visit Chicago for the season finale in Week 17.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady’s debut with Tampa Bay reportedly will come against New Orleans:
The schedule will be based on a presumption that there will be no delays or disruptions due to the coronavirus, which put the rest of the sports world on hold in March. The NFL proceeded with the start of free agency in March and its annual draft in April, and still plans to stage the regular-season opener with a nationally televised Thursday night game Sept. 10.
Contingency plans reportedly include pushing the start of the season back to mid-October and eliminating the bye weeks during the season and the week before the Super Bowl.
Although the season opener typically features the defending Super Bow champions (the Kansas City Chiefs, in this case), the Packers and Chicago Bears got the first-game honors last year as part of the NFL’s 100th anniversary celebration.
The Packers figured to be a popular prime-time choice, given their 13-3 record last season and their march to the NFC championship game behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Their slate of opponents features enticing matchups such as a title-game rematch at San Francisco 49ers and another road game against quarterback Tom Brady and Tampa Bay.
Here are the Packers’ home and road opponents for 2012:
Home: Vikings, Bears, Lions, Falcons, Panthers, Jaguars, Titans, Eagles
Away: Vikings, Bears, Lions, Saints, Buccaneers, Texans, Colts, 49ers