The 2022 NFL schedule won’t be released until May 12, but the league did unveil one game that will be played this year and that unveiling took place during the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
After the first 10 picks were announced, Tony Gonzalez and Chargers running back Austin Ekeler took the stage in Las Vegas to reveal exactly one game from this year’s schedule: Chargers at Chiefs.
The game will be played in Week 2 (Sept. 15) and it will be a Thursday night showdown in Kansas City. The Chiefs separately announced that the game would be serving as their home opener, which means Kansas City will definitely be playing on the road in Week 1.
If you’re wondering why the NFL chose to reveal all the details behind this specific game, it’s because it will be the first game played as part of Amazon’s new “Thursday Night Football” package.
Back in March 2021, the internet company outbid multiple suitors for the rights to the Thursday package. At the time, Fox was was scheduled to hold the Thursday package for two more seasons (2021 and 2022), but Fox ended up making a deal that allowed Amazon to take over the package in 2022.
Under the 11-year deal that Amazon agreed to with the NFL, the internet company will get to stream 15 regular-season games and one preseason game per year. The first Thursday game of the season is the NFL opener on NBC, which is why Amazon’s opening game will be held in Week 2.
Amazon has been streaming Thursday games since 2017, but for the past four years, the Amazon game was always also available on network TV. However, starting this year, you’ll need a Prime subscription to be able to watch the games.
The company already has a team in place to call the games with Al Michaels doing play-by-play and Kirk Herbstreit handling the color commentary for the broadcasts. Gonzalez has also announced that he’s been hired by Amazon to help cover the NFL.