The Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos are scheduled to play a nationally televised game on Saturday, December 19. Some news from the Carolina Panthers could put that game day and time in jeopardy.
The Panthers, who play the Broncos this coming weekend, had one player test positive for COVID-19 on Sunday morning while Carolina was on their bye. In all, eight players, including COVID-positive D.J. Moore, were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list due to the close contact rules. If it’s just one positive, the game between Denver and Carolina will go on as scheduled. If it starts a rolling round of positives, it could cause a chain reaction.
If the Broncos’ game is pushed back to Monday night, there probably wouldn’t be a change to the subsequent week. Teams play two games in six days all the time. A push to Tuesday for the Broncos/Panthers would likely mean Buffalo and Denver gets moved back to a regular Sunday slot. Further delays could push it back even more.
The Bills play on Monday Night Football the following week, so they are already insulated on the back end a bit.
Buffalo has had two games moved this season due to COVID-19-related problems. When the Tennessee Titans had a string of positives, the Week 5 game was pushed back, causing a chain reaction with Buffalo’s Thursday night tilt with the Kansas City Chiefs the following week. The Bills lost both of those rescheduled games.
The Broncos lost their bye week when the New England Patriots had a run of COVID-19 earlier in the year, too, so it’s certainly not isolated to Buffalo. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens each dealt with delays, as well. It’s part of the 2020 season but still something worth monitoring.