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Patriots-Broncos Moved to Monday Night; Titans-Bills to Tuesday?

Here we go with the rescheduling of Week 5 games due to COVID. First up, the Broncos-Patriots game in New England will be played on Monday afternoon/evening at 5:05 Eastern instead of as a 4:25pm Eastern kickoff on Sunday. The hope is that this will give the Patriots a little bit of practice time, assuming they can even go back to their facility, which depends on how many positive tests they have in the next couple days. I'm guessing this will work like last week's Patriots game: an earlier kickoff on CBS, probably with a national broadcast. If they start it earlier, at 5:05 Eastern, then they won't move back the usual Monday night game on ESPN between the Chargers and Saints. Still no word on what's going to happen to the Buffalo-Tennessee game.

UPDATE: OK, now we have an update from Adam Schefter. Bills at Titans is tentatively moving to next Tuesday evening at 6pm Eastern, provided there are no more positive tests for the Titans. So, um, good luck with that. To prevent Buffalo from playing twice in three days, the Bills-Chiefs game in Week 6 is then being moved from Thursday night to Sunday. However, if Bills at Titans ends up cancelled, the Bills-Chiefs game reverts back to Thursday night.

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17 comments, Last at 12 Oct 2020, 5:25am

1 Good thing they're not…

Good thing they're not letting fans in the stadium in Orchard Park.

Seriously, Tuesday? They really think they're going to get through the weekend without more positive tests?

4 I'm guessing that they're at…

I'm guessing that they're at the point where they will have to report players as having "flu-like symptoms," and that we're going to have hangnails, knee pain, etc. mysteriously linger an extra week, in order to get the game in while having "no new positive tests."

Then the injury report players will suddenly start testing positive after the game.

And unlike with the illegal workouts, this will all be with Roger's stamp of approval. 

The NFL paid dearly for those types of hijinks with concussions, but they may be thinking they can get away with it here due to the different short- and long-term effects of COVID on young people. 

6 I guess this depends on the…

I guess this depends on the structure of the testing.  I'm of the impression that tests are conducted daily (except Saturdays) for every player, except those on IR.  Unless the team has control of the full testing chain, they're not going to be able to suppress positive results.  And since the tests usually detect the virus before there are symptoms, I don't see how teams will be able to hide players on IR before they can get tested.

5 It's pretty ludicrous that…

It's pretty ludicrous that they'd even consider that. A positive test means other players have almost certainly been exposed and a few more days of negative tests doesn't really tell you anything given the delay in developing symptoms and the relatively high prospect of false negatives. They really should just cancel the game in this situation if there are positive tests (CDC guidance says they should isolate for two weeks if exposed to someone known to have COVID). If they had been paying any attention to baseball (or the White House), they'd have seen how quickly things can spiral out of control if you half-ass things. If they are going to complete the season without going to a bubble they are going to have to accept the prospect of cancelling games, even if it means we end up with some teams playing fewer games.

12 CDC guidance relies on not…

CDC guidance relies on not having to test people continuously.

The 1-14 days often quoted is the incubation period, which is the time from exposure to symptoms. That's not the same as the time from exposure to testing positive. The latter is *generally* much shorter (since symptoms rarely occur without the virus having replicated sufficiently to also test positive, whereas the converse is often not the case).

Knowing this period with a high degree of certainty would be nice, but the data just isn't there yet. I do know that our regional epidemiology center uses a negative test 4x24 hours after exposure as a rule for their own employees if they have been exposed. After that, they are considered not to have been infected by the exposure.

The NFL is generating a treasure trove of data with their constant testing and location monitoring of thousands of people. I hope this data is shared with independent scientists sooner rather than later.

9 MNF double headers are…

MNF double headers are certainly a good idea this season, when only catering to a TV audience. EPL soccer is currently scheduling every game in it's own slot over each weekend to maximise TV coverage, and I'm slightly surprised the NFL hasn't made more effort to follow suit. But I suspect once things return to normal many fans would object to having their usual game watching/attending traditions ripped up like that. 

16 Correct. The same law that…

Correct. The same law that gives the NFL (and the other pro sports) a limited antitrust exemption so it can negotiate with the networks as a unitary entity instead of each team having to negotiate individual contracts also prohibits the NFL from televising games on Fridays and Saturdays during the college football season.

11 Even Tuesday

Could easily become a thing. In a way its better than Thursday, with four days rest before the next Sunday, vs a 3-day rest ahead of Thursday.

I have a bad feeling Covid forcing odd game situations is an easy test route for the NFL to jump on more time-slots.

13 Keep in mind, though, this…

In reply to by dmstorm22

Keep in mind, though, this is a very unusual fall in that the NHL is not playing, the NBA has a single series going on, and MLB and NCAA basketball and football are playing under compromised schedules. This year's open dates are uniquely wide-open in a manner probably not repeatable going forward.

ESPN is still broadcasting Korean baseball games just to have something to slot in.

14 I agree

We have no hockey (that would normally be starting up); really no NBA (normally would be starting up training camp); MLB is ramping up its playoffs, more-or-less on its regular schedule, and about half of college football. Some years, ESPN is showing "group-of-five" games on different Tues/Wed/Thurs time slots. 

So, while switching Thurs PM football to a double header MNF sounds like a great idea, NFL games all week long sounds like a way to screw up a good thing. In my book, a Thursday night kickoff game ahead of week 1 and a couple of Thanksgiving games is plenty fine. The occasional Saturday afternoon/evening game in late Dec. when the NCAA is pretty much done is okay too.

15 Yeah, I've felt that having…

In reply to by Joseph

Yeah, I've felt that having Thursday games every week is on the way to diluting the NFL product.  Not sure if ratings and revenue reflect that or not. 

But for those of us who like to play fantasy football and pick 'em pools, the Thursday games make the week a little more complicated.  I wish it would go away.  It can stay for Week 1 and Thanksgiving.