When the NFL decided to expand the post-Week One Thursday night package to 14 games and to play three games on Thanksgiving, a potential competitive disadvantage was created. With 17 total short-week games, two teams potentially would be playing twice on a Sunday and then on a Thursday.
The NFL avoided that problem by scheduling two of the teams that will play on Thanksgiving to play on the following Thursday.
The Cowboys, who host the Eagles on Thanksgiving, and the Bears, who travel to Detroit on Thanksgiving, will play in Chicago on the following Thursday.
Some players complain about playing Thursday games after playing on Sunday. Others like it, citing a less intense week of work before the Thursday game and a mini-bye on the back end. For the Cowboys and Bears, their mini-bye will be delayed by a week, which is more fair than expecting two of the NFL teams to twice play a pair of games with only three days of rest.