ESPN's Adam Schefter posted an email he either received or sent that includes a list of protected games the rest of the season. The NFL and NBC can flex games into the Sunday Night Football schedule when they are looking to beef up the week's offering. The schedule is originally set back in the early part of the year, before we really know how good or bad some teams are going to be. That can create some ugly Sunday Night Football games.
Networks have made their choices as to what games to protect so they can't be flexed to Sunday nights: pic.twitter.com/QhJOHpj9sn— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2014
Here is how NBC's remaining SNF schedule looks:
Week 8: Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
Week 9: Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 10: Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
Week 11: New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts
Week 12: Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Week 13: Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Week 14: New England Patriots @ San Diego Chargers
Week 15: Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Week 16: Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
From that schedule, it seems unlikely that any of the remaining games will be flexed out. Games like Bears-Packers and Ravens-Steelers feature an inconsistent Bears team, and a bad Steelers team. And yet, as division rival games, they are likely to stay as scheduled.
This means the 49ers will likely not have any games flexed into SNF. However, the 49ers could still have a game flexed into a better broadcast on FOX or CBS. The NFL can flex games into SNF, but can also flex games into the primary 1:25 national game. The best chance of that for the 49ers would be with their Week 10 and 11 games at the Saints and Giants, but I am not overly optimistic that even that will happen. For now, both of those games are scheduled for 10 a.m. PT.