Eventually, the NFL won’t have a way to accommodate a postponement due to COVID-19 without adding an eighteenth weekend. The NFL remains committed to finding any way to play a game later than scheduled without crossing the Rubicon of expanding the regular season.
The league’s latest test likely comes from the Falcons, who have shut down their facility after reportedly getting four positive test results on Thursday, only one of which has been confirmed. With the Falcons due to play the Vikings in Minnesota in only three days, the game may need to be postponed.
Monday night likely isn’t an option, since two games already have been dropped into the last day of Week Six. Tuesday night becomes a possibility, especially since the Vikings have a bye in Week Seven.
Speaking of byes, the NFL could play another game of Operation on the remaining slate of games, using the Minnesota Week Seven bye, Atlanta’s Week 10 bye, and other teams who play both of them to cobble together another chain reaction of realignment like the seven moves needed to accommodate a one-week postponement of Broncos-Patriots.
The NFL has a model that spits out all potential rescheduling options instantaneously, if there are any. At some point, there won’t be. At some point, the league will have to bite the bullet and add a week to the season.