Football fans hoping to see a Thursday Night Football game in Week 6 will have to look elsewhere.
At the same time, social media will have to find a new target besides FOX’s Joe Buck. There is no ‘TNF’ in Week 6, the first time this season that there is no Thursday game.
Why isn’t there any professional football on TV on Thursday, October 15? We have the answer.
‘Thursday Night Football’ has been around since 2006
The NFL’s schedule used to be very simple.
Almost every team would play on Sunday afternoon. ESPN would air a Sunday night football game, and ABC would air the game of the week on Monday Night Football.
Everything changed in 2006. NBC obtained the Sunday Night Football rights, while ‘MNF’ moved to ESPN.
Lost in that change was the addition of Thursday night games. Originally only airing on NFL Network, the mid-week games began in late-November and were touted as a way to watch potential playoff teams early.
There had been Thursday night games in NFL history, but never on a part-time basis like the NFL Network intended. Although the league planned both Thursday and Saturday games in the first two years, NFL Network added more Thursday outings in 2008.
The theme of Thursday games airing throughout the season began in 2012. In 2014, NFL Network partnered with CBS Sports so CBS could air up to eight of the league’s 13 ‘TNF’ games.
NBC’s coverage of the late Thursday game no longer falls under the Thursday Night Football package.
COVID-19 has forced major NFL changes
Not even Thursday Night Football was safe from the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL got its first five Thursday games, counting the Week 1 matchup between Houston and Kansas City, off without a hitch.
Then came the recent rash of outbreaks and rescheduled games. For the first time since 2010, the NFL had a Tuesday night game: a 42-16 win by the Tennessee Titans over the Buffalo Bills on October 13 in Nashville, Tenn.
There is no ‘Thursday Night Football’ in Week 6
Football fans will need to find something new to watch on Thursday, October 15.
Originally, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs would face Josh Allen and the Bills on a Thursday night stage.
That game will still happen in Week 6, but it will be an early Monday night game. Because Buffalo played on Tuesday, the NFL pushed their Week 6 game back to next Monday for adequate rest.
The NFL, understandably, did not put two teams on Thursday night on short notice. That is why there is no Thursday Night Football in Week 6.
Fans won’t need to wait much longer before seeing ‘TNF’ on their screens again. Carson Wentz and the Eagles travel to face Daniel Jones and the New York Giants on October 22.
The rest of the ‘TNF’ schedule includes some great matchups, including Aaron Rodgers and the Packers facing San Francisco in an NFC championship game rematch on November 5. Although it isn’t considered part of the true ‘TNF’ package, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens play at the Steelers on Thanksgiving (November 26).
The final Thursday Night Football game this fall, unless the league adds one in Week 16, is December 10. Derek Carr and the Raiders host Justin Herbert and the Chargers that night.