When CBS originally announced its broadcasting assignments for Week 17 of the NFL season, they placed the team of Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, and Tracy Wolfson on the Arizona Cardinals – Los Angeles Rams game for 4:25 p.m. on Sunday. However, the network has now announced that Romo will be replaced by Boomer Esiason on the call due to COVID protocols.
Due to Covid-19 protocols, Boomer Esiason will fill in for Tony Romo calling the Cardinals-Rams game alongside Jim Nantz and Tracy Wolfson on Sunday. https://t.co/BDD8sd2I9t
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) January 2, 2021
It’s not the news that CBS audiences want to hear as Romo has been a superstar for the network as a color commentator since joining the network in 2017. His ability to predict plays and provide insightful commentary have made him a target for other networks and a fan favorite.
It’s unclear at the moment if Romo is being held out because he has tested positive, if he has come into contact with someone with COVID, or if he has come into contact with someone who could potentially have it. There are also no details yet on how long he will be held out of the booth. CBS will televise the AFC some of the playoff games taking place next weekend and it would be presumed that Nantz/Romo/Wolfson would be among the broadcast teams chosen to call one of them.
Romo is just the latest in a long line of TV announcers and personalities that have had to miss assignments due to COVID protocols. Given the way things are trending, he almost certainly won’t be the last.