The NFL schedule took an unexpected twist on Friday when NBC announced that Mike Tirico, not Al Michaels, would be calling Browns-Giants on Sunday Night Football.

Per NBC, Michaels was pulled from the game “in accordance with NBCUniversal COVID-19 safety protocols.” In a statement, Michaels said he feels fine.

“I feel great, I have no symptoms, and my temperature this morning was 97.5. I look forward to returning to the booth as soon as possible,” Michaels said.

Tirico will call the matchup from MetLife Stadium with Cris Collinsworth, and Michele Tafoya returns from a week off to work the sidelines. As they did last week, Liam McHugh will host Football Night in America from the studio, and Jac Collinsworth will host on-site at the stadium.

This also has a trickle down effect to the Saturday doubleheader on NFL Network. Tirico was scheduled to call Panthers-Packers with Kurt Warner. He will now reportedly be replaced by Joe Davis.

Given Michaels’ age and the cross-country flight calling this game would have necessitated, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Protocols exist for a reason, and if Michaels couldn’t pass NBC’s ahead of Sunday’s game, replacing him on the game was the only sensible move.

[NBC Sports]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.