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Are the Vikings in any real danger of being flexed to Thursday Night Football?

The answer is “probably not”

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

One of the new rules that was adopted by the National Football League last week involves the potential to flex games to Thursday Night Football. While everyone except the people in the league offices pretty well thinks this rule is terrible, it’s here (at least for 2023), so it makes sense to see how it will affect our favorite team.

Are our Minnesota Vikings in any real danger of getting a game flexed into Thursday Night Football this year?

Well, a team can’t play any more than two Thursday Night Football games in a season, per the new rule. Given that the Vikings will play on Thursday night in Week 2 in Philadelphia, one of theirs is already set in stone. In addition, games can only be flexed to Thursday Night Football between Weeks 13 and 17 and the league has to give 28 days notice before doing so.

So, let’s take a look at Weeks 13 to 17 on the Vikings’ schedule and see what we can find, shall we?

Week 13 – Bye Week

Well, it’s awfully hard to flex a bye week, so I don’t think we have anything to worry about here.

Week 14 – Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders currently have just one Thursday Night game on the schedule, and it’s set for the week after this one when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at the Giant Roomba known as Allegiant Stadium. I don’t know if the league would make the Raiders play on Thursday two weeks in a row and, if we’re being honest, the Raiders aren’t expected to be that good this year, so the appeal is probably limited.

Week 15 – Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals also currently have one Thursday Night game on the schedule, as they’ll travel to take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11. Of all the Vikings’ games in this stretch of the schedule, this one probably has the most flex potential, given that the Bengals are one of the best teams in the AFC. This is probably going to be the only one worth keeping an eye on.

Week 16 – Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

Well, the Lions are a bit of an exception to the rule, as they have three Thursday games on the schedule already: The season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead, a Week 4 matchup at Green Bay, and their traditional Thanksgiving contest at home against Green Bay. Therefore I don’t think this one is eligible to be flexed.

Week 17 – Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

So far, the Packers have just one Thursday Night game on their schedule as well, the aforementioned Week 4 matchup against Detroit. I don’t know if the Thanksgiving games officially count for the Thursday Night limitation. . .it clearly doesn’t for the Lions. . .so I’m not sure if this game can even be flexed. Then again, the expectation is that everyone outside of Wisconsin (and most folks in Wisconsin) will have forgotten about the Packers by this point in the year, so it likely isn’t that attractive a matchup anyway.

Based on this, it would appear that the Vikings’ chances of being flexed to Thursday Night Football this season are fairly slim. Hopefully, after this season, someone in the league offices will realize that this was a dumb rule and rescind it before the 2024 season, but I’m not exactly going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.