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Tom Brady’s return forced NFL schedule makers back to drawing board

On Thursday night, the NFL will remove the sheet from the 2022 schedule. One specific development during the offseason prompted the schedule makers to proclaim, “Holy sheet!”

“When Tom Brady retired, we were concerned about the strength of the NFC package because there were so many terrific Tampa Bay games we were looking at,” NFL broadcasting chief Howard Katz told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, via “Then a month later he unretires and we sort of started all over again.”

Some have suggested that Brady returned in part because the Bucs were planning to look elsewhere for a starter, and in part because the scheduling process would inevitably be locked in based on the notion that Brady wouldn’t be playing. Which would have meant plenty of not-prime-time assignments for Brady.

He will be playing, and the Bucs will be playing plenty of games in prime time. Already, one of their contests (Week 10 vs. the Seahawks in Germany) will be televised in a stand-alone Sunday morning window. There surely will be more than a few night games for Tommy and company.