Report: NFL considering going to 16 playoff teams

PITTSBURGH — With the Steelers off to a 7-0 start that gives them the best record in the AFC eight weeks into the season, they have positioned themselves for a potential bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Or maybe not.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortenson, the NFL competition committee, on which Mike Tomlin sits, will present a contingency plan to owners that would increase the number of teams in the playoffs this year to 16 -- up from 14 -- to accommodate potential lost games because of COVID-19 outbreaks among teams.

The addition of teams would be made to help offset the potential for the league to add an 18th week to the season if future games have to be cancelled or postponed because of viral outbreaks among teams that have already had their bye week.

The Steelers have already been affected by a COVID-19 postponement earlier this season when their Week 4 game against Titans was postponed because of an outbreak with that team.

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