FOX NFL Sunday: What happened to the show and crew?

FOX football analyst Terry Bradshaw
FOX football analyst Terry Bradshaw

Viewers who tuned into "FOX NFL Sunday" expecting the show's familiar faces to preview and recap the league's Week 11 slate of games may have been surprised to see some not-so-familiar faces on their TV screens.

FOX's regular crew members Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Michael Strahan were barred from the Los Angeles studio this week due to COVID-19 concerns. Chris Myers, Charles Woodson and Reggie Bush -- a trio that covers college football for the network -- took their places.

Other FOX NFL personalities that didn't appear in the studio on Sunday included Jimmy Johnson (who's been working remotely all season), Jay Glazer, Michael Vick, Tony Gonzalez, Colin Cowherd, Charissa Thompson and Dave Wannstedt.

In a prepared statement, FOX said "Out of an abundance of caution for our t eam -- Sunday's FOX NFL Kickoff and FOX NFL Sunday pregame show from our Los Angeles studio will not include their regular casts."

The network didn't say whether or not Menefee, Bradshaw or Strahan had tested positive for COVID-19, or if they'd potentially been exposed to someone who tested positive.

It was the latest example of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the NFL's 2020 season.

Also Read: Michael Strahan’s Net Worth

NFL season has been shaped by COVID-19 pandemic

Going into the season, NFL players were given the opportunity to opt-out of the season if they were concerned for their health. Over 65 players chose to opt out, including Kansas City Chiefs running back and Super Bowl standout Damien Williams, Philadelphia Eagles receiver and Olympic track athlete Marquise Goodwin, and eight members of the New England Patriots, some of them key starters. It's not a coincidence that the Patriots are struggling this season (Tom Brady's free agency departure notwithstanding).

Games on the NFL regular-season schedule have been postponed due to teams having mini-outbreaks of the coronavirus among players and staff.

Players who contract the virus, or who have had close contact to others with COVID-19, have missed games after being put on the league's reserve/COVID-19 list (similar to the injured reserve list).

Coaches and other on-field staff, including referees, must wear face coverings. Teams have been fined substantial amounts for coaches and staff who don't properly cover their faces.

Sideline reporters have been conducting interviews with players and coaches while following (often wildly exceeding) social-distancing recommendations.

And perhaps most noticeably -- and most impactful to the NFL's finances -- games have been played with either a limited number of fans in the stadium, or with no fans at all.

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Edited by Amaar Burton
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