Dec 9, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; An NFL logo is seen on the field after a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Schedule Release Delayed

The much anticipated 2013 NFL schedule, which was originally supposed to be released on Tuesday April 16th, has apparently been delayed.  No word has been given yet on a new release date.

There were rumors swirling around to this effect last week, but according to Pro Football Talk, it’s now officially delayed:

Last week, we caught wind of the possibility that the 2013 regular-season schedule won’t be released on Tuesday, April 16.

The possibility has now become a certainty.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that the schedule won’t be released on April 16.  He added the date for the release has not been determined.

“It will not be tomorrow but could be in the next week or two,” Aiello said via email. “We’re working to finalize it.”

It hasn’t been confirmed what the holdup is, but at least part of the problem is believed to be related to the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and their opener.  Over the last several years, the Super Bowl winner has hosted the NFL kickoff game with a Thursday night game.  The logistics for that game hit a snag with the Baltimore Orioles having a home date scheduled on the NFL kickoff date, coincidentally with the Chicago White Sox.

It’s now believed that the Ravens will open their season on the road and Chicago is a possible site to that game, since the Bears are one of the Ravens’ eight road dates.  I’m not sure I like Marc Trestman’s offense being unveiled in prime time, but on the bright side, it would get that pesky Thursday night game out of the way.  The Bears have a tough docket in 2013, set to face the NFC East and AFC North and the Saints and Rams along with their usual dates against the NFC North rivals.

With the new NFL schedule format, which includes 17 Thursday night games and 51 prime time dates total, it’s become more complicated to make sure that each team gets a Thursday night prime time game.

The schedule is usually released before the draft and the NFL usually does it on Tuesdays, so it’s looking like April 23rd make a likely date to circle on your calendar.  It will make for a jam-packed NFL news week with the draft set to go just two days later.

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