In Laura Rutledge’s absence, Field Yates stepped up to the plate. The former had been on maternity leave since giving birth to her second child in early June. That led to Yates taking over hosting duties on NFL Live all summer and the impact he made on his short time on the show was pretty evident, especially when judging by the moment below.
An awesome moment to close today’s NFL Live. This show team is such a special group.
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) August 28, 2023
Yates hosted NFL Live for the final time on Monday, as Rutledge is set to return from maternity leave and will continue to anchor the show. In a pre-recorded message, each of Rutledge, Dan Orlovsky and Marcus Spears established that Yates is “part of the” NFL Live family.
“Am I supposed to be able to finish up the show now?” an emotional Yates jokingly asked.
“I will just offer this,” he continued. “The NFL Live—this crew has taken off—and the show has been an immense success over the past couple of seasons. What people need to know is that it’s not an accident. It’s not just the people you see on the screen, it’s the people you see behind it. No crew works harder or pours their heart and soul more into a show than the people do at NFL Live. It’s been an honor to be in this chair, and I can tell you this, I’m looking forward to Laura Rutledge being back tomorrow because she is the queen of this show.”
You could hear an audible “Love you, Field” from the background of that show, likely coming from the production crew.
This may not be the last we see from Yates on the NFL Live set, though. While Rutledge is back from maternity leave, she will also be the sideline reporter for five NFL games this season, alongside Orlovsky, Louis Riddick and Chris Fowler. The quartet has been assigned Saints-Panthers for Week 2 and Rams-Bengals for Week 3. They’ll also have the NFL’s International Series game between the Falcons and Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on Oct. 1. They’ll also be on the call for a pair of doubleheaders as Monday Night Football will get one in Week 14 and there will also be a Saturday doubleheader in Week 18.