Schedule changes have unfortunately been common for the NFL during this unprecedented season, and the league is again making a prime-time change for “Sunday Night Football” in Week 7. On Thursday, the NFL sent out a press release announcing that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Las Vegas Raiders matchup would be moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. ET, while the Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals matchup would be moved from Sunday afternoon to “Sunday Night Football.” Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray are now slated to face off against each other at 8:20 p.m. ET.
According to the NFL‘s press release, these decisions were made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that a game would be available for fans on Sunday night. The Raiders ran into some potential problems concerning COVID-19 on Wednesday, but the league hopes their game against the Buccaneers will indeed be played this week.
On Wednesday, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden told reporters that the team sent all five of its starting offensive lineman home after they had been in close contact with Trent Brown, who was placed on the reserve/COVID list. Gruden relayed that the team had to alter Wednesday’s practice due to the lack of linemen but is hopeful some will be able to return in the near future. Brown being placed on the special reserve list does not necessarily mean that the star offensive tackle has tested positive for the virus, but it could mean that he had been exposed to someone who did test positive. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, “a good part” of the Vegas offensive line and safety Johnathan Abram will go on the COVID-19 reserve list today.
“Well, we’re listening to the league and they’re advising us on what to do,” Gruden said. “Trent Brown is not here today and his status is unknown. We had to send five of our starting linemen home today because they had a tracer. I guess, they were around Trent. I can’t get into anything more than that. Hopefully, we’ll get some players back tomorrow or for Sunday.”
Hopefully this is just a precautionary measure, and all games will be played this Sunday.