Working to accommodate the Oakland Athletics' American League Divisional Series matchup with the Detroit Tigers and the workers at O.co Coliseum, the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have agreed to move their Week 5 contest back to an 11:35 p.m. ET start.
The game, originally scheduled to be broadcast on CBS, will also shift over to NFL network, the team announced on Monday.
There is no word on whether any local affiliates, if any, are planning on picking up the game in the Oakland or San Diego areas. NFL Network is a pay-cable channel that is not usually added to providers' basic packages, whereas local CBS affiliates are available to all citizens regardless of whether they have a cable subscription.
The two teams agreed to make the switch because the Athletics will host the Tigers for Game 2 of their divisional series at 9:07 p.m. ET in Oakland. The Athletics and Raiders share O.co Coliseum, the only such arrangement remaining between the two leagues. When the two teams play in such close proximity, there has to be enough time allotted for the field crew to make the switch over from a baseball stadium to a football field.
Steve Corkran of the San Jose Mercury News noted that it takes up to 18 hours for the grounds crew to make the switch. There will likely be enough time for the conversion, but the NFL decided to push the game back—likely for safety concerns. Major League Baseball did not officially announce the times of the divisional round games until Monday evening, leaving the start time of Sunday's game up in the air.
Although the situation is unorthodox, it was not unexpected. The Chargers and Raiders had initially discussed flipping the order of their inter-division games to accommodate the baseball playoffs. Oakland will make its trip to Qualcomm Stadium in Week 16.
However, it seems that the two teams decided that pushing the contest back to a late-night start was the better option.
The Raiders head into Week 5 with a 1-3 record, having suffered a 24-14 loss to the Washington Redskins last week. Matt Flynn got the start in place of Terrelle Pryor, who was held out for precautionary reasons after suffering a concussion in Week 3, and struggled to make headway against a Redskins defense that came in last in yards allowed.
The Chargers, meanwhile, are 2-2 after scoring a critical win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 401 yards in three touchdowns in the 30-21 triumph, continuing his resurgence under new coach Mike McCoy. Rivers is currently second in the NFL in quarterback rating behind Peyton Manning.
Both teams trail the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, who are both undefeated thus far.
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