The NFL owners are gathering in Arizona this week for their annual spring meeting and among the more noteworthy items on the agenda includes a proposal on adding flexible scheduling to Thursday Night Football.
The item will be voted on this week this week and if approved it would mean that games scheduled for Sunday afternoon could be moved up three days to Thursday nights in Weeks 14-17 with 15 days notice.
In order for the proposal to gain approval, it needs 75%, or 24 of the 32 owners, to vote in its
The proposal would mean some teams would have to make multiple appearances on Thursday night following a Sunday game, whereas currently teams are asked to just do this once during the season.
While flex scheduling would make the TNF games more appealing late in the season, playing games on three days’ rest more than once over the course of a grueling and physically demanding season may not go over well with the players and coaches.
Last season, the Miami Dolphins were investigated as to whether or not they followed the correct concussion protocol after quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained a devastating head injury during a Thursday night game.
While the investigation cleared the Dolphins, it reignited the debate about player safety — a topic that will surely become a focal point should the proposal be approved.
There’s also the logistics of fans changing the plans and purchasing tickets for a game that will be rescheduled to a different day of the week, as well as the travel plans for team employees that could become an obstacle with Thursday flex scheduling.
However, the NFL saw a 46% decline in “Thursday Night Football” viewership in 2022, per Nielsen ratings. This could be due to multiple factors, including switching the broadcast from FOX to Amazon in addition to subpar matchups.
Yet that alone may be enough incentive for the owners to approve the proposal.