INGLEWOOD (CNS) - The Los Angeles Rams will play host to the Dallas Cowboys Sept. 13 in the first NFL regular season game at SoFi Stadium, the season opener for NBC's “Sunday Night Football.”
The Los Angeles Chargers will play their first regular-season game at the Inglewood stadium Sept. 20 against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, a week after opening the season by playing at Cincinnati, according to the 2020 schedule released by the NFL Thursday.
The schedule was released amid speculation part or all of the season will not be played because of the coronavirus pandemic or fans will not be allowed into the stadiums or seating capacities will be reduced.
“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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
“We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this off-season in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual off-season program, and the 2020 NFL Draft.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier Thursday “it's difficult to imagine a stadium that's filled until we have immunity, until we have a vaccine.”
“It's difficult for me and imagine the league, broadly, leagues do when one or two of their key personnel or players are tested positive,” Newsom said in response to a question at his daily coronavirus briefing.
“Do they quarantine the rest of the team if an offensive lineman is practicing with a defensive lineman and they are tested positive. What happens to the rest of the line, what happens for the game coming up next weekend? It's inconceivable to me that that's not a likely scenario so it's a very challenging question you're asking.”
The Rams will play two other prime-time games at SoFi Stadium -- a “Monday Night Football” game Oct. 26 against the Chicago Bears and a “Thursday Night Football” game Dec. 10 against the New England Patriots, who are also scheduled to play the Chargers Dec. 6 at SoFi Stadium.
The Rams are also scheduled to play two road prime-time games, Oct. 18 at San Francisco on “Sunday Night Football” and Nov. 23 at Tampa Bay for “Monday Night Football.”
Both the Chargers prime-time games will be on the road, Oct. 12 at New Orleans for “Monday Night Football” and Dec. 17 at Las Vegas for “Thursday Night Football.”
NFL schedules are determined by a formula calling for one game against each team from a designated division in their own conference and one from the other conference, home-and-home series against each of the teams in their division and games against the teams that finished in the same place in the other two divisions in their conference.
Each team is assured of facing each other team at least once in a four- year period.
The Rams finished third in the four-team NFC West in the 2019 season with a 9-7 record.
The formula calls for them to play the four teams from the NFC East and the four from the AFC East, home-and-home series against the other NFC West teams and one game each against the remaining NFC third-place teams, Chicago and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Chargers finished last in the four-team AFC West in the 2019 season with a 5-11 record.
The formula calls for them to play the four teams from the AFC East and the four from the NFC South, home-and-home series against the other AFC West teams and one game each against the remaining AFC fourth-place teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL also released the preseason schedule, but only with dates for eight games.
The first preseason games at SoFi Stadium will match the Rams against the New Orleans Saints and the Chargers against Dallas between Aug. 13-17. The Chargers and Rams are scheduled to meet in a preseason game Aug. 20-24 with the Chargers as the home team.
The Rams are set to play their final home game of the preseason Aug. 27-30 against the Denver Broncos. They are scheduled to conclude the preseason at Las Vegas Sept. 3 or Sept. 4.
The Chargers are scheduled to play their final 2020 preseason games at Seattle Aug. 27-30 and at San Francisco Sept. 3 or Sept. 4.
Here is the Los Angeles Rams complete 2020 regular-season schedule -- Dallas (Sept. 13); at Philadelphia (Sept. 20); at Buffalo (Sept. 27); New York Giants (Oct. 4); at Washington (Oct. 11); at San Francisco (Oct. 18); Chicago (Oct. 26); at Miami (Nov. 1); Seattle (Nov. 15); at Tampa Bay (Nov. 23); San Francisco (Nov. 29); at Arizona (Dec. 6); New England (Dec. 10); New York Jets (Dec. 19 or Dec. 20); at Seattle (Dec. 27); Arizona (Jan. 3).
Here is the Los Angeles Chargers complete 2020 regular-season schedule -- at Cincinnati (Sept. 13); Kansas City (Sept. 20); Carolina (Sept. 27); at Tampa Bay (Oct. 4); at New Orleans (Oct. 12); New York Jets (Oct. 18); at Miami (Oct. 25); Jacksonville (Nov. 1); Las Vegas (Nov. 8); at Denver (Nov. 22); at Buffalo (Nov. 29); New England (Dec. 6); Atlanta (Dec. 13); at Las Vegas (Dec. 17); Denver (Dec. 26 or Dec. 27); at Kansas City (Jan. 3).