Good news, Chicago Bears: You’ve played well enough to get a spot in prime-time.
Bad news, Bears: You’ll be playing both in the late spot on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and then in the early spot on Thanksgiving.
The NFL’s decision to move the Week 11 Vikings-Bears game into prime time is a bit of a surprise, given that the NFL is keenly aware of concerns about playing on Sunday night and then on Thursday. Two years ago, Washington played on the Sunday night before Thanksgiving before facing the Cowboys in the late-afternoon Thanksgiving game.
“That’s tough, and we’ll have to look at that,” NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent said at the time. “Ideally, that’s not something that we would like to have.”
But that’s exactly what they have, with the Bears playing on Sunday night and then landing in the early game on Thursday, on the road in Detroit.
It’s a delicate balance for the league to strike. On one hand, the NFL wants the best possible games to be played in prime time. On the other hand, the Bears will have roughly 84 from the end of a black-and-blue division date with the Vikings and a tanks-fer-nuttin Thanksgiving kickoff in Detroit.