How NFL is responding to Omicron variant of COVID-19 as positives pile up

0 Comments

Twenty days ago, the United States experienced the first case of Omicron. A week ago, NFL cognoscenti, just beginning to see the Covid testing rate increasing, were still adamant no games would be moved or postponed. Four days after that, three games were moved, culminating a week in which 160 positive tests happened. “I don’t think we could have foreseen the magnitude of that increase and how rapidly Omicron would really take over and essentially change the entire game plan,” the NFL’s medical director, Allen Sills, told me Saturday night. “There was some anticipation, but it’s a bit like preparing for a hurricane. You take all the preparations you think you can and then you wait, and then you see how it actually is … Out of the first batch that we’ve been able to test, almost all of the positives were Omicron.”

Sills is pragmatic and studious, and he’s spoken confidently about the virus in the 21 months that it’s plagued the NFL. But I could hear in his voice Saturday night that this one’s got him stumped a bit. “It’s almost like dealing with a different disease,” he said. “I think it’s going to require us to toss out our old game plan and bring a new game plan to bear because we’re dealing with a very different opponent. The most striking thing is the transmissibility and just how quickly it has spread—coming from basically being an unknown entity to now reflecting almost all the cases we’re seeing in a week’s time. It’s unprecedented.”

The league and players agreed to do something counterintuitive this week. They’re going to stop regular testing of players, and begin a “targeted” testing program, focused on players and staff who exhibit symptoms or self-report them. At first glance—and second, too—it seems the league doesn’t want to catch people who test positive for Omicron, which purportedly has been milder in nature than other variants. One club executive, defending the league’s move to cut down regular testing, said if testing was done this week, with the wildfire-type growth of the variant across the country, “250 players would test positive and would be out.”

“If they are positive,” I asked Sills, “shouldn’t they be out?”

“Maybe it will turn out that vaccinated players with Omicron will transmit the virus in practice or in games,” Sills said. “If so, the NFL’s got to change, fast. But so far, there’s zero indication the virus is transmitted on the field. And the vast majority of players aren’t sick at all. I still think players who aren’t feeling well will self-report. They don’t want to get their teammates sick.”

Sills said on a league conference call Saturday that what the league will do starting this week is what practicing doctors (which he is) do now. They don’t routinely test asymptomatic, well-feeling people. He said all but two of the WFT positive-testing players felt fine and had no symptoms.

But there’s so much we don’t know yet about the Omicron variant. If the transmissibility goes wild and sickens people worse than it appears this variant will, the NFL will look like a greedy business that put jamming through the schedule over potential impact on public health. Now that the lack of testing is a done deal, the NFL has to be sure it pivots the moment Omicron gets more dire than it appears now.

For now, I believe the league did the right thing Friday in pushing Raiders-Browns to Monday, and WFT-Philadelphia and Seattle-Rams to Tuesday. At the time the games were moved, the Rams, WFT and Cleveland had 83 player positives, combined, and there was (still is) no guarantee things wouldn’t get worse. Anyone angry about how “unfair” this is to football balance … take a breath. Life intrudes sometimes, the same way it did in the weird start-and-stop-and-start 2020 season. “This is what our planet, country, league, other leagues, schools, everyone, has been dealing with for a while,” Rams GM Les Snead texted to me Sunday afternoon. “This is science, in a nutshell.”

WFT coach Ron Rivera said Sunday he spent lots more time on roster-fortification than coaching during the week. “We spent hours scanning everyone’s practice squad and on the players we’d worked out since training camp,” Rivera told me. “Because we potentially had our top two quarterbacks out with Covid, it was important to find out who fit us. And Garrett Gilbert was on New England’s practice squad. He’d played for Dallas last year and we liked what we saw, and we thought he could fit our offense well. He might have to play in the ballgame Tuesday night in Philadelphia.”

Rivera might have Taylor Heinicke or Kyle Allen back if they test negative before dusk Tuesday in Philly. If they don’t, it’s your team, Garrett Gilbert.

“The last two years, this has gotten wearisome,” Rivera admitted. “Sometimes you get a ‘Now what?’ feeling. But let’s face it. It’s doesn’t look like this is going away anytime soon. We might have to take a booster every year to stay ahead of it.”

The NFL will be on trial here, now that it’s not going to test regularly. All that’s at stake is the completion of the 2021 season.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

What channel, time is the NFL game tonight? TV, kickoff, live stream for Colts vs Cowboys

0 Comments

It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys tonight on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America before the game gets underway.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: How to watch Colts vs Cowboys  – TV/Live Stream info for tonight’s game

What channel is tonight’s Sunday Night Football game on?

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

          RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

Where to live stream Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys online tonight

Tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys can be streamed live on multiple platforms tonight including NBCsports.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

This NFL season, Peacock will stream all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

Week 13 Schedule

WEEK 13
Thursday, Dec. 1
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
Sunday, Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., CBS
Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., FOX
Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
New York Jets vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., CBS
Washington Commanders vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m., FOX
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Dec. 5
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys: TV, live stream info for tonight’s game

2 Comments

It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts fell 24-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in their 7th loss of the season and 2nd loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Saturday, a former Colts center with no professional or college coaching experience prior to this season, took over after the Colts fired Frank Reich ahead of Week 10. Reich spent 5 seasons with the Colts, reaching the playoffs just twice (2018, 2020) and finishing with a 40-33-1 record in the regular season. Indianapolis’ offensive struggles have continued this season after ranking 10th in scoring last season at 26.5 points per game. Entering Week 13, the Colts are averaging 15.8 points per game–they’re tied with the Texans who are ranked 31st in the league. Ryan went 22-of-34 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Monday night’s loss. RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

RELATED: Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts – “I thought we had plenty of time”

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys completed the season series sweep with a 28-20 win over the New York Giants last Thursday evening. Prescott finished 21-of-30 for 261 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Ezekiel Elliot, who was playing in his second game since returning from a knee injury, rushed for a season-high 92 yards and ignited the Cowboys’ offense scoring the first touchdown of the game. On defense, the Cowboys had 3 sacks–two of them were from OLB Micah Parsons who ranks 2nd in the league with 12 sacks this season. Dallas currently has one of the best defenses in the NFL and leads all teams with 45 sacks this season. The Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 games and enter Week 13 just two games behind Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead.

RELATED: Dak Prescott – I am as confident as I can be in this team


How to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys Game

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Playoff Picture Week 13 – Standings, clinching scenarios ahead of Colts vs Cowboys on SNF


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!