As part of the NFL schedule release, the league announced its return to London on Wednesday, with the Atlanta Falcons set to host Wilson’s New York Jets on Oct. 10 and Lawrence’s Jacksonville Jaguars to host the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 17. Both games will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The NFL did not play any international games last season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league had been set to hold four games in London and one in Mexico City last season.
“We have been working closely with the UK government, the city of London and the relevant health organizations over the past year in planning the games. Through their successful vaccine rollout and commitment to bringing crowds back to sports events, the time is right for the return of NFL football this fall,” said Christopher Halpin, the NFL’s executive vice president and chief strategy and growth officer. “We will continue to monitor the COVID environment, putting health and safety first, and will adhere to any and all future COVID regulations and restrictions.”
The Jaguars selected Lawrence No. 1 overall in last month’s draft after going 1-15 last season, while the Jets selected Wilson No. 2 after finishing 2-14 and trading former starter Sam Darnold earlier in the offseason.
The NFL started playing games in London in 2007, when the Dolphins hosted the New York Giants, and played at least one game there every season until last year’s pause due to the pandemic.
This year’s game will be the Jaguars’ eighth home game in London, while the Dolphins will be playing in the city for the fifth time. When the Jets and Falcons play, it will mark their second time each playing in London.
When the NFL announced the expansion of the regular season to 17 games per team earlier this season, it said the enhanced season will guarantee that, starting in 2022, each team will play an international game at least once every eight seasons. Up to four neutral-site games will be scheduled, with the initial focus on Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. The league said interested teams also can volunteer to play home games internationally, as they currently can do. Halpin said that Germany is among the countries that could host a game in the coming years.
The entire 2021 NFL schedule will be released at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.