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Jim Nantz out for Sunday due to COVID protocols

The Bucs are comfortably in the playoffs, and Mike Florio sees them using their Week 18 game against the sinking Panthers as a tune-up for the postseason.

The ongoing pandemic is a hazard not only to players and coaches but also to broadcasters.

Via Richard Deitsch of, Jim Nantz of CBS -- the network’s top play-by-play announcer -- will miss Sunday’s Panthers-Buccaneers game due to COVID protocols. He’ll be replaced by Tom McCarthy on the Jim Nantz/Tony Romo/Tracy Wolfson crew.

Meanwhile, it’s a little odd that Panthers-Bucs was chosen for the top CBS crew. Yes, it’s a relatively rare NFC contest (featuring former AFC staple Tom Brady) for CBS. And, no, there’s no other CBS late-window game that cries out for attention (Patriots-Dolphin, Jets-Bills).

The more impactful Week 18 CBS games land in the early window, with the Titans trying to nail down the AFC No. 1 seed in Houston, the Colts hoping to punch a playoff ticket in Jacksonville, and the Ravens trying to send Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger limping into retirement.