The NFL may finally get its expanded schedule in 2021.
According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, a 17-game schedule is “highly likely” with the league scheduler and TV partners working under the assumption there will be 17 games in 2021.
The addition of an extra game would not include an extra bye — a proposal that has been discussed in the past — making the regular season 17 games in 18 weeks.
The NFL also does not want to start the season Labor Day Weekend, meaning that the extra week will be played at the end of the season, pushing the playoffs back a week.
Which means that Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles will likely be played on Feb. 13, 2022 — the latest day for the game in league history.
The current date — Feb. 6, 2022 — is still scheduled to hold the game as of Monday and the league has yet to say anything about a potential move to officials in Los Angeles, though.
Among other changes that could be coming to the schedule also includes the possibility of a Monday night wild-card game.
King estimates the likelihood as “somewhere between 50-50 and very likely” that this will happen, because the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend would not precede the NCAA national championship game if pushed back a week.
The national title game is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2022 and if the NFL moves to a 17-game schedule, its opening slate of playoff games would begin Jan. 16.
King suggests the league would play two games Saturday, three games Sunday and the sixth Wild Card game on Monday night.
The Monday night winner would not play until the Sunday of the divisional round.
Other scheduling items of note include the league possibly playing two games on Christmas in 2021. The holiday falls on a Saturday this year after the success the league had with last year’s Christmas game between the Saints and Vikings the NFL is looking to expand to two games this year.