Al Michaels out for Browns-Giants ‘Sunday Night Football’ game; NBC cites COVID-19 protocols

To read Al Michaels’ take, he’s a healthy scratch for the Week 15 “Sunday Night Football” matchup between the Browns and Giants in New Jersey.

NBC pulled Michaels, the lead voice of the network’s top-rated prime-time series, off the broadcast on Friday “in accordance with NBCUniversal COVID-19 safety protocols.” Neither Michaels nor the network provided specifics.

“I feel great, I have no symptoms, and my temperature this morning was 97.5. I look forward to returning to the booth as soon as possible,” Michaels, 76, said in a statement released Friday afternoon by NBC.

The New York Daily News and other outlets noted Friday that Michaels and broadcast partner Cris Collinsworth were vocal critics of having to follow Santa Clara County (Calif.)’s mask mandate for NBC’s telecast of 49ers-Eagles in Week 4 from Levi’s Stadium.

The Michaels scratch necessitated multiple changes among other NFL broadcast talent. Mike Tirico will take Michaels’ place in the booth Sunday night and will not call Saturday night’s Panthers-Packers game for NFL Network. Joe Davis will take Tirico’s place on that telecast. Liam McHugh will replace Tirico as host of NBC’s “Football Night in America” pregame show Sunday.

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