We’ve been aware for some time that the NFL has reserved two weekends in February for next year’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis, which gives us some wiggle room in the event of a work stoppage that interrupts or delays the regular season.
And now we have confirmation that the league can afford to see the season delayed a fortnight without having to cancel games.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said today that, if push comes to shove, the Super Bowl can indeed be postponed by one week. Additionally, the NFL can and will eliminate the bye week that precedes the Super Bowl in order to make up for an extra lost week.
That means that the regular season can technically start as late as Sunday Sept. 25 without the season having to be abbreviated.
It also means that the season could go all the way until Jan. 15, with the playoffs starting Jan. 21. Super Bowl XLVI would be pushed back to Feb. 12, which would be the latest in NFL history.