NBC’s Michaels benched Sunday due to COVID-19 issues
Broadcaster Al Michaels will not participate in NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” telecast out of COVID-19 concerns.
The network said in a statement issued Friday that Michaels had “not been cleared to work this weekend’s game in accordance with NBCUniversal COVID-19 safety protocols.”
Mike Tirico will stand in for Michaels and call the game between the Cleveland Browns (9-4) and New York Giants (5-8) from MetLife Stadium with Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Michele Tafoya on the sidelines.
NBC didn’t say whether Michaels, 76, tested positive for the virus or if he had close contact with someone who did.
“I feel great, I have no symptoms, and my temperature this morning was 97.5,” Michaels said in a statement issued by NBC Sports. “I look forward to returning to the booth as soon as possible.”
Michaels is in his 15th season as the voice of “Sunday Night Football” and in his 35th year as an NFL play-by-play announcer in primetime.
Earlier this month, he was named the recipient of the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He is one of five broadcasters to be recognized with both the baseball honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award, joining Jack Buck, Dick Enberg, Curt Gowdy and Lindsey Nelson.
–Field Level Media