The NFL announced Friday night several changes to the Week 15 schedule as a rash of COVID-19 positive tests have wrecked some teams’ rosters. The league had previously stated there would not be reschedulings and would even force teams to forfeit games this season if they did not follow proper coronavirus protocols. The new omicron variant of the virus, however, has been proven to be more transmissible and likely has led to over 100 players across the league being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The league previously changed some of its protocols for preventing the spread of the virus, including having teams go back to more social distancing, mask requirements in team facilities, and virtual or outdoor meetings only. Now, they have rescheduled three Week 15 games for teams that have been hardest hit by the virus this week.
The Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams games from Sunday have both moved to Tuesday night. Both games will kickoff at 7pm ET with coverage on FOX and will be available on NFL Sunday Ticket as well.
The league released a statement about the scheduling changes. It included an explanation for the moves, stating:
We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week result in a substation increase in cases across the league
We continue to make decisions in consultation with medical experts to ensure the health and safety of the NFL community.
Reactions some players about the rescheduling have included frustration. The Raiders’ KJ Wright tweeted, “I pay my player dues just to get lied to and the rules bent! @NFL @NFLPA If it was the other way around I sear we would be playing tomorrow.”
Eagles safety Rodney McLeod wrote over two tweets, “So we have to suffer, and compromise our schedule because of another teams mistake. Make it make sense! Smh.” He then followed that, writing, “At the end of the day it is what it is. The stage is set, let’s fill the LINC come Tuesday night. #ganggreen”