The NFL season is not staying on the rails. So the league is changing some games around.
Team COVID outbreaks in Tennessee and New England have forced the league to postpone the Titans-Steelers week three game and the Patriots-Broncos matchup in week four.
But this afternoon, while everyone is watching football, the NFL announced eight rescheduled games.
Here they are.
And here is a look at the person trying to make this schedule work without adding a Week 18.
The Chargers, who have not recorded any positive tests this season, are the franchise most affected by the changes. Four out of the eight rescheduled games involve Los Angeles.
Miami and Denver also have three rescheduled games.
The Kansas City-Buffalo game that was originally scheduled for Thursday, October 15 has now moved to Monday… afternoon. That game will kick off on October 19 at 5 p.m Eastern.
The aforementioned Patriots, Jets and Jaguars are also involved in this NFL shuffle.
One game surprisingly missing from this list is the Tennessee-Buffalo matchup, which is still on for Tuesday. But just this morning, the Titans announced they were closing their facility after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. The team has recorded 24 positive tests since September 24.
The league is clearly frantic, while trying to appear like they have the season under control. But this scheduling game of Tetris also proves that the NFL will do whatever it takes to start postseason play on time.
Major League Baseball also wanted to start their postseason to start on time, even even if that meant dozens of doubleheaders for the Martlins and Cardinals.
A mid-January start to the NFL playoffs could push February’s Super Bowl back, which the league will avoid at all costs. And with Florida opening up sports stadiums to the masses, expect the NFL to sell a bunch of tickets in Tampa.
But at the rate teams are becoming infected, rescheduling games within the season’s ever-shortening window could become mathematically impossible.
If the NFL adds an extra week of regular season games, which is still doubtful, the league could eliminate the bye week usually held between championship Sunday and the Super Bowl.
We’re just past the first quarter of the NFL season and two teams outbreaks have postponed nine games total. As the season gets shorter and the weather gets colder, why shouldn’t we expect more outbreaks to fuel another sunday afternoon (re)scheduling announcement from the NFL?