There’s No Week 17 Thursday Night Football in the NFL, and Here’s Why
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Bank of America Stadium
- Weeks 17 and 18 of the NFL regular season will be without Thursday Night Football.
- With every team playing at least on Thursday game this season, there's a rule that means no games the final two weeks.
- Here's why there's no football on Thursday night in the final two weeks of the season.
Refreshing your Action Network App wondering where the Jaguars vs. Texans or Jets vs. Bears is at for Thursday Night Football in Week 17? You’re not alone.
Bettors get into a routine and are accustomed to a terrible matchup to wager on Thursday nights. In Week 17, there’s no game to find.
Get off the phone with customer service — your TV guide is correct.
What’s the deal?
This has actually been the case for years now.
The last Thursday Night Football game within the last two weeks of the regular season came in 2016 between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. Now, that was Week 16 as it was only a 17-week season. The regular season is now 18 weeks, making Week 17 the new penultimate week.
The reason for this is the NFL’s rule that teams can only play one game on a short week per season. The expansion of the season doesn’t change that.
Every team has already played on Thursday at least once this season. With 32 teams, it only took 16 weeks to get each team scheduled, leaving Week 17 and Week 18 open.
The only teams to play multiple games on Thursday night were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. The Bucs and Cowboys played on the season-opening Thursday night game, which obviously wasn’t on short rest since it was Week 1.
The Saints played back-to-back Thursday games, including Thanksgiving. That means they had a full week of rest for the second Thursday night game.
With the playoffs two weeks away, this is a perfect transition to level the schedule out.
There will not be any Saturday games in Week 17, but there will be two in Week 18 with both matchups to be determined.
Week 17 is also the final week for Monday Night Football.