NFL owners approve flex scheduling for Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football is about to get more interesting for the 2023 season. On Monday, the NFL owners voted 24-8 in favor of introducing flex scheduling for Thursday Night Football games from Weeks 13-17. The news was first reported by ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. The Chicago Bears and chairman George McCaskey were one of the eight teams who voted no on the rule change.
Giants, Jets, Packers, Bears, Raiders, Detroit, Bengals, Pittsburgh voted against it – to no avail.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 22, 2023
According to the full resolution shared by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the league must give teams 28 days notice before flexing them from a Sunday afternoon game. Teams are also limited to one flexed game and cannot have more than two games take place on Thursday Night Football.
Since the Bears already play on Thursday Night Football twice, their games will be exempt from getting flexed. The Bears play at the Washington Commanders in Week 5 and at home against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10.
Here are the full details https://t.co/kDNQz0YTvf pic.twitter.com/2R1n0Qu9R6
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 22, 2023
Since Amazon Prime became the new home of Thursday Night Football in 2022, the league has looked to bolster its slate of games with premium matchups. Allowing games to be flexed later in the season provides more competitive games with teams in the playoff hunt, but could make for a sloppier product on the field.
It will be interesting to see how this experiment goes since flex scheduling is only in effect for the 2023 season for the time being. While it won’t impact the Bears, it could affect their opponents or division rivals later on in the season.