The Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams are set to play in Week 15 in a must-win game for the Hawks if they want to keep their ever so slim playoff hopes alive. For the Rams the game is a chance to not just all but guarantee a trip to the postseason, but to set themselves up to potentially move into first place in the NFC West should the Arizona Cardinals stumble over the final four weeks of the season.
That said, the only two questions that remain are, obviously, who would emerge victorious and when exactly the two teams will take the field. That second question is, of course, important following the COVID outbreaks that saw the Seahawks place Tyler Lockett and Alex Collins on the COVID list Wednesday, while the Rams have 25 members of the team or practice squad on the COVID list. Thus, with time running down before teams begin depart to play their Week 15 games, the NFL has moved the Seahawk-Rams matchup to Tuesday.
I'm hearing the Seahawks have been told their game against the Rams on Tuesday will kick off at 4 p.m. PT.— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) December 17, 2021
And it is now officially official.
The NFL officially announces three games were moved from this weekend pic.twitter.com/YPdyEh3Bw3— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 17, 2021
Since being founded in 1976, the Seahawks have played games on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and one Friday in 1985, and now they can add Tuesday to the list as well.
The players around the league, however, are not happy about it.
Wowww…— Carlos Dunlap (@Carlos_Dunlap) December 17, 2021
Damn I thought the team would have to forfeit!!! This crazy ♂️— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) December 17, 2021
K.J. Wright is not wrong, either. At least, not entirely. This summer, the league specifically wrestled with the obvious likelihood of more rosters being impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic. Their decision back then...does not quite seem to be in line with the considerations this week.
Specifically, games were not to be postponed simply to help a team out with a greater Covid outbreak than its opponent.
NFL July memo: "In light of the substantial roster flexibility in place for the 2021 season, absent medical considerations or government directives, games will not be postponed or rescheduled simply to avoid roster issues caused by injury or illness affecting multiple players..."— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 17, 2021
However, forfeits were never really on the table. These are those infuriating and rare moments when the fine print matters. This very scenario has also been discussed and considered, and even though the NFL memo seems to contradict its current trajectory, there are already prohibitions against an outright forfeit as the first action.
friendly reminder that under the NFL-NFLPA agreement on COVID protocols, if games are forfeited, players for neither team get paid.— John Pfizer-Pfizer-Pfizer Gilbert (@JohnPGilbertNFL) December 17, 2021
(forfeits were specifically considered for protocol violations, which don't appear to be the case here) https://t.co/LJa8iMNfwF
And just for reinforcement and so you’re not taking my word on it:
Important note for players on Raiders, Eagles, Seahawks who are unhappy their games were rescheduled instead of forfeited: Neither team’s players get paid if a team has to forfeit.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 17, 2021
So folks, get your affairs in order and cut out from work a little early on Tuesday. An unusual kickoff is coming our way, as well as the 21 players on the Rams roster hoping to be reactivated against the Seahawks two.
Field Gulls will work to keep fans updated, and once a final announcement regarding the official kickoff time for the game is made, this post will be updated to reflect that.