Worries about a COVID-19 outbreak with the Las Vegas Raiders resulted in the NFL deciding Thursday to move the Seahawks’ game Sunday at Arizona to the Sunday night prime-time slot on NBC.
Seahawks-Cardinals kickoff, which had been scheduled for 1:05 p.m., will now be at 5:20 p.m.
The Raiders-Tampa Bay game had been scheduled for the 5:20 p.m. slot but will instead move to the 1:05 p.m. time slot on FOX.
The Raiders’ entire starting offensive line as well as safety Johnathan Abram did not practice the last two days after tackle Trent Brown tested positive for COVID-19 with the other players deemed as potentially being at high risk. All have placed on the league’s COVID-19 reserve list and it’s unclear if any will be available to play Sunday.
Moving the Raiders game to Sunday afternoon gives the league added flexibility if that game needs to be moved to Monday or Tuesday.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, the NFL said the decisions “were made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that a game would be available for fans on Sunday Night Football. 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 game will be the third for the Seahawks already in prime time this year, following earlier Sunday night games against the Patriots and Vikings. Seattle had already been scheduled for the maximum number of five prime-time games prior to flexing, scheduled to also host Arizona on a Thursday night on Nov. 19 and play at Philadelphia on Monday night, Nov. 30.