Agreement is impossible with the more than 1,000 players in the NFL, but the sentiment on how to handle the NFL's remaining schedule in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks is almost split down the middle.
All NFL and most other major sports events in the United States were either canceled or postponed this weekend, but the NFL delayed making an announcement on how the remainder of the schedule will be handled. It was expected they would make an announcement yesterday. No such luck, and now it appears it could be as late as mid-week next week before any announcement is forthcoming.
Even the Vikings' camp is split. Executive vice president Mike Kelly said he guessed the league would end up playing a 15-game schedule, thereby canceling this weekend's games and leaving the playoff format as is. Wide receiver Cris Carter said he would prefer that scenario, given a rescheduling of the Vikings' game at Baltimore might mean ending the season with a Monday night game, then hopefully heading to the playoffs. However, if it weren't a Monday night game, he might feel differently, he said.
Vikings coach Dennis Green said he thought the NFL would play a 16-game schedule, moving this weekend's games to wild card weekend and then eliminating that first weekend of playoff games — meaning the NFC would only have four playoff teams instead of six, leaving the final three playoff weekends, including the Super Bowl, untouched.
Vikings player rep Robert Griffith said the players, who voted to not play this weekend, realize they would probably be forfeiting one-sixteenth of their base salary by not making up the games. Griffith simply said it was up to the owners.
The Vikings weren't alone in their differing opinions on how they would like it to be handled and how they thought it would be handled. It was the same story in nearly every NFL city.
But even the owners and the NFL might be at the mercy of the TV networks, which may not want to give up the increased revenue that the wild card weekend holds over a regular-season weekend. Sports aren't the focus this weekend, but whatever decision the NFL makes it will undoubtedly affect teams' playoff hopes one way or another.
For the Vikings, the general thought is that canceling the game would improve their chances of the playoffs since they wouldn't have to travel to play the Super Bowl champions and it would allow for six NFC playoff teams instead of four.
No Announcement, No Agreement
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