Why Joe Buck isn’t calling Buccaneers vs. Saints with Troy Aikman in Week 8

Fans tuning into the Sunday afternoon Fox game will hear a perhaps-unfamiliar voice alongside Troy Aikman.

Fox broadcaster Joe Davis will fill in for regular Joe Buck in Sunday’s Buccaneers-Saints game as the latter takes on another assignment. Aikman and sideline reporter Erin Andrews will remain in their normal roles.

This isn’t the first time Davis has been asked to take over for Buck, but it’s still worth looking into why the change was made, as well as Davis’ history of versatility for the network.

With that, here’s why Davis is taking over for Buck on Sunday’s Bucs-Saints game:

Why is Joe Davis calling Buccaneers-Saints?

Davis will fill in for Buck on Sunday. The broadcaster — who on top of college football and basketball broadcast duties also calls MLB’s division series on Fox and Fox Sports 1 — is no stranger to NFL booths: He has served as a Fox play-by-play announcer during certain weeks of the season since 2015 and, starting in 2020, has worked play-by-play for NFL Network’s Saturday specials.

Davis is expected to fill in for Buck only for Sunday’s game.

Where will Joe Buck be on Sunday?

Buck will call Game 5 of the World Series between the Braves and Astros — a potential series-clincher for Atlanta at home in Truist Park — as he has each of the four previous games. His “Thursday Night Football” assignment last week wasn’t affected by the World Series because it was a travel day for the Braves and Astros as they headed to Atlanta for Games 3-5.

On top of NFL broadcasting duties, Buck also calls several MLB games a year on the Fox network, which also happens to own rights to the World Series. He calls a few regular-season MLB games each year, the All-Star Game, one League Championship Series and the World Series. Considering the World Series will end on Wednesday at the latest, this is the last time Buck will miss a Fox football assignment this season for the purpose of calling an MLB game.

Who would replace Joe Buck on Fox?

The answer to this question traditionally has been Davis, who has occasionally filled in for Buck, depending on the latter’s assignment.

One such instance came during Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS between the Braves and Dodgers on Oct. 18, 2020. It happened to coincide with Buck’s “NFL on Fox” assignment between the Packers and Buccaneers. Prior to that, Davis filled in for Buck in Game 4 of the 2019 ALCS between the Astros and Yankees on Oct. 17, 2019. Buck called the “Thursday Night Football” matchup between the Chiefs and Broncos the same night.

Fox might have had a slightly more difficult time replacing Buck had it been the Dodgers in the World Series instead of the Braves — Davis works as the TV play-by-play announcer for Los Angeles, taking the job in 2017 in replacement of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully. Luckily for Fox, that is not a conflict it has to work around in 2021.

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