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NFL finalizes Week 17 schedule; Bears/Vikings has noon Central kickoff

The other games that could potentially affect the Vikings come later

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few minutes ago, the National Football League announced that they have finalized the schedule for the final week of the NFL regular season.

As expected, the Minnesota Vikings’ contest with the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium will remain with its scheduled noon Central time kickoff. If the Vikings win that game, they will have a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs wrapped up before the late games even get underway.

If the Vikings should lose, then all of the games that could potentially affect them getting a bye will be a part of the 3:25 PM Central slate. Those games are Carolina at Atlanta, San Francisco at Los Angeles, and New Orleans at Tampa Bay. All of those games will be on FOX affiliates around the country.

If you’ll notice from the schedule that was tweeted out and linked above, there will be no Sunday Night Football on NBC in Week 17. I’m not sure if that was the original plan, but that’s the way things are going to play out. So, by the time everyone sits down for dinner next Sunday. . .or, in some cases, gets ready to go out to their New Year’s festivities of choice. . .we will have the entire playoff field and all of the seedings set across the National Football League.

So, once again, the Week 17 game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium will kick off at noon Central time on FOX.