There is no question that this is the most unique and challenging season that the National Football League has ever experienced as our entire world continues to do our best in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Football games have a fraction of fans that they normally would if any, there are plenty of new protocols in place for teams, and this week the league postponed a game due to a number of positive tests within the Tennessee Titans organization.
The Titans were scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, and as a result of the league trying to isolate the positive tests the game has indeed been postponed. On Friday it was announced that this game will take place in Week 7 and this changes a small (but certainly significant) detail concerning one of the bigger games of the season for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will no longer have a bye before they visit the Cowboys
Let me be clear and note that the most important thing here is that everyone remains healthy and that what we want more than anything is for those who have tested positive for Covid-19 to recover as soon as possible.
The reality of this season happening though is that there are football implications from the impact that Covid-19 is taking. You can certainly debate how not having fans in the stands has played a part in games, but now the re-scheduling of the contest between the Titans and Steelers game will as well.
Fortunately for the NFL the fix to re-scheduling the game in question wasn’t too difficult to pull off as the Titans have a bye in Week 7 and the Steelers in Week 8. The league is processing this postponed week as the bye for both Tennessee and Pittsburgh and having them play the game in Week 7 instead. Pittsburgh was originally scheduled to travel to Baltimore in Week 7 but will now do so in Week 8. This is possible because the Ravens have a Week 8 bye but will now take it one week earlier.
— #Steelers-#Titans originally scheduled for Sunday is now Oct. 25 at 1 pm on CBS.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 2, 2020
— #Steelers-#Ravens will move from Week 7 to Week 8 on Sunday, November 1 at 1 PM on CBS.
— Steelers-Titans now have a bye and the #Ravens bye, originally set for Week 8, will now be in Week 7. https://t.co/hZ96wLu3yd
While that sounds a bit complicated it actually is a rather simplistic (speaking generally) solution for this scheduling issue. It is obviously difficult to imagine how Tennessee and Pittsburgh will fare this season without a true bye week, it is an unfortunate part of this season’s unique reality.
What does this have to do with the Cowboys, though? While interconference games aren’t as meaningful as intraconference ones, there is no question that the Cowboys will want to win their game against Pittsburgh (and all of their games!) this season. That game is scheduled to take place in Week 9 which is the week after Pittsburgh was originally scheduled to have their bye. Obviously that is no longer the case.
Thanks to the re-scheduled Steelers/Titans game, the Steelers will instead visit their division rivals in the Baltimore Ravens in the week before they visit AT&T Stadium as opposed to being on bye. The “benefits” of that to the Cowboys are certainly something that can be debated, but they are nonetheless the circumstances that are now in place.
Once again the hope here is that all people who have tested positive get well and do so as soon as possible. Football is way behind in terms of priorities there.