The National Football League has moved the scheduled October 25 Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Las Vegas Raiders game from its original evening kickoff time to an afternoon slot in order to protect the primetime Sunday Night Football window on NBC Sports.
The Raiders are suffering a minor Covid-19 outbreak in the team and, while it is expected that the Buccaneers-Raiders game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, will still go ahead on the 25th, the NFL does not want to take any chances with a showcase primetime broadcast window.
Instead, the Seattle Seahawks-Arizona Cardinals game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, has been shifted from that afternoon and into the primetime slot.
“These decisions were made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that a game would be available for fans on Sunday Night Football,” the league said in a statement. “We expect the Buccaneers-Raiders game to be played on Sunday afternoon. Scheduling decisions are made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts.”
The move is the latest attempt by the NFL to try to complete a traditional 17-week regular season in the wake of the pandemic. However, if games continued to be rescheduled and postponed, it will have an inevitable effect on the playoffs.
Earlier this week, it emerged that the NFL is ready to push back Super Bowl LV into March. The showpiece event is currently scheduled to be held on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The Raiders are one of the few remaining NFL teams not planning to have attending fans this season while a steadily increasing number of other teams around the league have allowed limited in-venue attendance.