NBC has revealed that Mike Tirico will replace Al Michaels on four NFL games, reversing an earlier NFL decision that only Michaels and Cris Collinsworth would call NBC’s games. The network is airing at least two games per week going forward, one on Thursday night, as well as the Sunday evening contest.
Collinsworth who teams with Michaels, initially broke the news during an appearance on Bill Simmons’s podcast Tuesday. He said that Michaels would receive a few days off during the rest of the season. Tirico’s first game with Collinsworth will be on Sunday night when the Green Bay Packers visit the Washington Redskins. The two are also scheduled to join forces for the Thanksgiving night game featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts, the following Sunday night game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs and the Thursday night game on December 22nd with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.
In addition, Tirico will partner with Doug Flutie to call the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets game on Saturday December 17th. They’ll also call the Christmas Day game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Both of those games will air on the NFL Network.
“With the additional games on our schedule this season, it’s nice to have a bye week,” Michaels said in a statement issued by NBC. “We’re lucky to have someone of Mike’s caliber to step in with Cris, Michele [Tafoya] and the rest of the team.”
Added Fred Gaudelli, executive producer of NBC’s NFL telecasts: “Once we added TNF, we always planned to give Al a chance to recharge to help him maintain his standard as one of the all-time greats. This week was the ideal time due to travel. With Mike the voice of ‘Monday Night Football’ for the last 10 years, we are fortunate to have two exceptional NFL play-by-play voices.”
Michaels and Collinsworth will be on the call for NBC’s first Thursday night contest between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints this week.