The 2020 NFL season has already been filled with some unprecedented schedule changes, and now another shuffle of the Week 6 schedule has canceled “Thursday Night Football” and fans are not happy.
Earlier this week, the NFL showcased a Tuesday night game for only the second time in the last 70 years of the league. The contest between the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Titans organization. Since the NFL delayed that game, it played a huge part in the league’s decision to cancel Week 6’s Thursday night game.
The Bills were scheduled to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday. However, a less than two-day break was simply not manageable for the team. Therefore the NFL moved Buffalo’s Thursday night game to Monday evening at 5 p.m. EST. The Bills will resume their regular schedule in Week 7 against the New York Jets.
A total of 10 NFL teams’ schedules have been affected by players and personnel testing positive for COVID-19. The Titans have been impacted more than any other team, now having two of their first five week’s games postponed and rescheduled. The league even closed Tennessee’s practice facilities following positive test results of 23 players and personnel within the franchise.
More NFL Schedule Changes on the Horizon
Additionally, the NFL could face more schedule changes in the near future. The Atlanta Falcons are supposed to play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. But, Atlanta had to close their facilities on Thursday because of multiple positive COVID-19 cases. Likewise, that game could be postponed similar to the Titans-Bills matchup, or even rescheduled for an entirely different week of play.
In fact, the league is discussing the possibility of adding an 18th week because of all the schedule changes. The NFL’s chief medical doctor Allen Sills says that is more likely than a bubble scenario like the NBA utilized to finish their season.
“The bubble is not foolproof with infections,” Sills explained to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones. “It doesn’t take away the need for all of our other mitigation strategies. In fact, infection can spread more rapidly inside a bubble if it does get introduced because everyone is together in close quarters. And then you’ve got to consider the mental, emotional, and behavioral and just human aspect of that.
“So for all of those reasons right now today we don’t feel that’s the safest course of action for us. We’ve consistently said that we’ll re-eval all of these decisions along the way and make what we think is the safest decision. All options remain on the table but that’s our thought on it today,” Sills concluded.
[H/T CBS Sports]