On Saturday, the Detroit Lions not only had to play Tom Brady and a very good Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, but they were forced to do so without interim head coach Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, and multiple other defensive coaches.
Playing without many of their coaches could have been easily avoided had NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had just moved the game to Sunday.
In his Monday morning column, Peter King blasted the NFL and Goodell for screwing the Lions.
From Peter King:
It makes no sense to me that the Lions game wasn’t moved back one day, from Saturday to Sunday. How’d you like to be competing against the Bucs for a playoff spot, or jockeying for playoff position, and the man coaching against them Saturday has never been a position coach in the NFL, and never been an NFL coach of any kind? Evan Rothstein. Play-caller against Tom Brady and Bruce Arians. I’ve said forever that this was going to be an unfair season because some teams were going to get jobbed due to COVID reasons. Unfair is one thing. Unfair when fair is so easy to accomplish is another. And the NFL was wrong to force the Lions to play Saturday without a head coach and without most key defensive coaches, when, assuming their COVID tests were negative for five straight days, they’d have been able to coach Sunday.
It’d be good to see someone, anyone in the league office with the guts to say, “Commissioner, this is wrong. Just plain wrong.” Clearly, there is no one there to tell that to Roger Goodell.
Peter King is 100% correct on this. Sure, the Lions are awful and likely would have gotten smoked by the Bucs, but they should have been able to play with a full coaching staff.