The NFL's Thanksgiving Thursday schedule originally included three games. Now it's been reduced to two, following today's announcement that the primetime matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens has been rescheduled for Sunday due to several positive COVID-19 tests among the Ravens' organization.
The remaining two Thanksgiving games are of varying levels of importance.
The opener, pitting the Detroit Lions against the Houston Texans, is an essentially meaningless contest between two teams who won't make the playoffs or land the all-important No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The matinee between Washington and the Dallas Cowboys -- which now becomes the de facto main event of Thanksgiving Day -- involves two teams in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC East. Of course, every team in the NFC East has a losing record and whoever wins the division seems destined for a quiet playoff exit, but it's a playoff berth nonetheless.
Who plays on Thanksgiving Day?
The Lions (4-6) host the Texans (3-7), continuing a tradition that dates back to 1934 of the Lions playing on Thanksgiving.
Detroit was shut out in its last game, 20-0, by the Carolina Panthers. The Lions have a quarterback in Matthew Stafford who is typically productive in terms of getting his numbers, but injuries at running back and wide receiver have robbed Stafford of some of his top weapons. Lions running back Adrian Peterson is a future Hall of Famer, but at 35 years old he's not the player he used to be and it's showing this season.
The Texans are led by franchise QB Deshaun Watson, but like Stafford, he doesn't have a lot of help around him. Whereas Stafford's supporting cast has been decimated by injuries, Watson's top receiving target (DeAndre Hopkins) was traded away in the offseason and the Texans haven't seemed to recover. Houston has some momentum coming into this game, however, as they beat the New England Patriots in their last game.
The Cowboys (3-7) are another Thanksgiving regular, having played on the holiday every year since 1966. They host Washington (3-7) in an NFC East showdown.
Dallas has been set back by injuries to QB Dak Prescott and the offensive line this season. Backup QB Andy Dalton played well last week, however, leading the Cowboys to a road win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Washington is also rolling with a reserve quarterback; Alex Smith began the season No. 3 on the depth chart but has moved up after original starter Dwayne Haskins was benched and replacement starter Kyle Allen broke his ankle.
Thanksgiving NFL TV schedule
What times are the NFL games on Thanksgiving?
12:30 p.m. EST -- Texans at Lions
4:30 p.m. EST -- Washington at Cowboys
What channels are the NFL games on Thanksgiving?
CBS -- Texans at Lions
FOX -- Washington at Cowboys
Thanksgiving NFL live streams
CBS All Access -- Texans at Lions
fubo.TV -- Washington at Cowboys