Al Michaels is being pulled from “Sunday Night Football” this weekend “in accordance with NBCUniversal COVID-19 safety protocols,” NBC Sports said on Friday.
“Michaels has not been cleared to work this weekend’s game,” the group informed media via email.
Mike Tirico will replace Michaels on the primetime NFL game’s play-by-play.
NBC did not specifically say if Michaels tested positive for COVID-19, but the legendary sportscaster said the following in a statement provided to media: “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.”
We asked an NBC Sports spokesperson if Michaels tested positive for COVID-19 or if this was a decision made out of an abundance of caution due to a potential exposure, but that information was not made available to us.
Tirico also filled in for Michaels on last week’s game, though that was a scheduled substitution, a person with knowledge of the staffing plans for TV’s No. 1 show told TheWrap.
So here is how “Sunday Night Football” and its lead-in, pregame show “Football Night in America,” will look to end the pre-Christmas weekend:
- Mike Tirico will call the Cleveland Browns-N.Y. Giants NBC “Sunday Night Football” game from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. alongside Cris Collinsworth. Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines. Terry McAulay serves as rules analyst.
- Liam McHugh will host “Football Night in America” from NBC Sports studios in Stamford, Conn. Jac Collinsworth will serve as “FNIA” host on-site at MetLife Stadium.
- McHugh will be joined on “FNIA” by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, and NFL Insider Mike Florio. NBC News’ Steve Kornacki returns to analyze NFL playoff probabilities from the Big Board.