The NFL already has flex scheduling for ‘Sunday Night Football’ on NBC, and this year we’ll see it introduced on a permanent basis for ‘Monday Night Football’ on ESPN/ABC, but now we’re seeing the league “flex” its muscles for ‘Thursday Night Football’ on Amazon Prime Video.
On Monday the league owners voted on the ability to implement flex scheduling for TNF, and the 24-8 vote was enough to see this one-year trial run pass. They needed a minimum of 24 votes and got to that mark on the nose.
Flexing for Thursday Night Football just passed, 24-8, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 22, 2023
NFL teams approved this TNF Flex scheduling proposal. pic.twitter.com/b6O4Xd138y— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 22, 2023
It is worth reiterating that this is only for the 2023 season, so this may not last in the long-term. On the other hand, this is the NFL so why should we not anticipate a possibility that this becomes permanent?
Flex scheduling notification must occur to teams on at least 28 days’ notice, and only a maximum of two TNF games can get flexed out.
Additionally, this is only for Week 13-17 and for the games that air on Prime Video. The Seahawks’ Thanksgiving night matchup with the San Francisco 49ers is in Week 12 on NBC and will not be flexed no matter what their records are. However, the Seahawks’ road game the following Thursday at the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 30 is the first TNF game that can be flexed out. Of course, the standards for a Sunday game to be flexed to Thursday will need to be pretty high, especially with SNF and MNF both able to take advantage of the flex scheduling window.
If the Seahawks-Cowboys is bounced, then presumably one or both of these teams will have been so awful that playoff implications would be close to nil. I don’t think that’s likely, but it’s something you’ll have to keep in mind, especially if you actually plan on attending this particular game. And of course, the Seahawks could get flexed into TNF considering they have just one Sunday-Thursday short week and can have a maximum of two super short weeks. Just as a little reminder, these are the TNF games eligible for flexing:
Week 13: Seahawks at Cowboys
Week 14: Patriots at Steelers
Week 15: Chargers at Raiders
Week 16: Saints at Rams
Week 17: Jets at Browns