Jaguars-Lions will be first 18th week game, if postponed beyond Tuesday

The Jaguars have a confirmed positive COVID-19 test from their practice squad. If they, or the league, determine that the virus is spreading within the organization, Sunday’s game between Jacksonville and Detroit could be postponed.

If it is postponed beyond Tuesday night (the NFL’s new Monday night), it will become the first game to be played in an eighteenth week of the 2020 season.

It’s an easy conclusion to reach, for one very important reason: The Lions already have had their bye. So with 12 games to play and 12 weeks left in the season, Jaguars-Lions would fit nowhere else on the schedule.

That’s why an eighteenth week feels inevitable. As more and more teams use their bye weeks, the windows close for rearranging the schedule to keep the 256 regular-season games within 17 weeks.

There’s a separate question that needs to be considered in this regard. If, when the later weeks of the season come around, the Jaguars and Lions are mathematically eliminated from the postseason, why play the game? Other than providing a more complete picture when it comes to draft order, there would be no reason for the makeup game to be made up.

For that reason, it makes even more sense to have a makeup weekend earlier in the season. Many think the league would simply tack the extra games onto the weekend after Week 17. The better play, as suggested to me 10 days or so ago by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, would be to bump Week 17 to Week 18 and to play the makeup games in Week 17.

It actually may be even smarter to pick an earlier weekend for the eighteenth week, so that Jaguars-Lions remains technically relevant. The rest of the schedule would be pushed back by a week. Then, if a nineteenth weekend is needed (and it very well could be) those games could be dropped into Week 18, and Week 18 (previously Week 17) would become Week 19.

Under that scenario, there’s still a chance that a meaningless game would be bumped to the penultimate week of games. Whether that game gets played is a question the NFL would have to resolve later, including the extremely important question of whether the players would get paid for a game that they otherwise would be willing and able to play.

12 responses to “Jaguars-Lions will be first 18th week game, if postponed beyond Tuesday

  1. If it comes down to it I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL were to force teams to play a game on Thursday and Tuesday to make up a lost game. They already make teams play on Thursday with only 3 days of rest after a Sunday game, at least a Thursday to Tuesday turnaround gives them an extra day to rest and prepare.

  2. If it comes down to determining draft order.
    Why not have the makeup game(s) played week 17and a half
    Being the Thursday and or Friday before the start of the playoffs.
    mzakes the most sense without having to reschedule playoffs.
    Of course this is IF further rescheduling is not necessitated.
    A REAL BIG IF.

  3. If it comes down to determining draft order.
    Why not have the makeup game(s) played week 17 and a half.
    Being the Thursday and or Friday before the start of the playoffs.
    makes the most sense without having to reschedule playoffs.
    Of course this is IF further rescheduling is not necessitated.
    A REAL BIG IF.

  4. If it doesn’t involve teams making the playoffs then play the games that Thursday before the playoffs begin. It makes no sense pushing the playoffs back a week, risking a player from a playoff team catching it and further delaying the playoffs or putting that team at a major disadvantage.

  5. unclmikl says:
    October 17, 2020 at 10:56 am

    If it comes down to determining draft order.
    Why not have the makeup game(s) played week 17 and a half.
    ——————————————————————-
    Can you imagine a week 17.5 game where the loser is the winner and earns first draft pick? If that was the scenario, I’d propose that the teams switch uniforms so they’d both be trying to win.

  6. If neither team is going to the playoffs, and if none of the playoff teams need the Jags/Lions game to determine some tiebreaker…why not just let the Jags and Lions play their regular season game during the Wild Card round?

    That lets both teams play all 16 games and keeps the draft order process intact.

  7. Money above all else. Profits above employee, fan, community health, despite the virus surge. Got it.

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