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49ers can’t be flexed into Thursday night due to two games scheduled

Well, at least travel plans won’t be ruined.

In case you missed it, the NFL decided to pick and choose player safety yet again by making a strange kickoff rule in favor of player safety...shortly after they allowed flex scheduling to Thursday Night Football.

The rule comes with some limitations; first it’s between Weeks 13-17, only two flexes allowed per team, a 28-day notice, and any single NFL team can play two total Thursday Night Games in a season.

That final requirement should free up the San Francisco 49ers from being involved in any of this ridiculousness. They have two Thursday Night Games already scheduled thanks to getting the BOGO treatment and they are before Week 13. They can’t be flexed into another game.

So good?

Sure. It sounds like the 49ers voted in favor of Thursday Night flexing per Adam Schefter, which is a bit disturbing given what we know about the three-day rest. It also seems like a shrug to fans of the NFL as a whole with travel plans to see their teams on a Sunday, only to get things moved on them. While the 49ers won’t have to worry about playing a third Thursday game, fans with travel plans to other games scheduled for Thursday Night may have those derailed.

Forget the time off needed on schedules and just look at re-booking a flight. Has anyone tried rescheduling a flight? How about a hotel with less than a month’s notice? Take it from me, it’s not easy and unless you paid extra to reschedule tickets/bookings you are stuck with it unless you pay a ridiculous fee to change. I’m going to guess most travelers don’t take the re-book insurance offered on flights. Which will be interesting if we start seeing airline commercials during NFL games pop up about the cheapest fee to re-book your flight.

Ok, back to the NFL. While this gets fans better football on Thursdays, it’s hard to ignore the possible competitive disadvantage this offers to the league. One team (the 49ers) can play two Thursday Night games with the limited rest and preparation and no flexing out while another team only has one or none and might get flexed in. I think it will be fine if we see other championship teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs get flexed in (who each have one short scheduled game apiece), but I’d hope flexing is done not only to get us better football, but to also level the playing field on the contenders in the postseason. The 49ers can’t be flexed, but with other teams there has to be opportunities to make them play with the same rest the 49ers have to deal with.

Ok, enough complaining about the rest of the league. At least the 49ers schedule is set for 2023, barring a Sunday Night vs Sunday afternoon. They can still get flexed into Sunday Night Football which wouldn’t be near as crippling to them or the fans.