For the second time this month, one of CBS’ flagship NFL shows will be missing a commentator due to COVID health and safety protocols. Play-by-play voice Jim Nantz missed the Jan. 9, Week 18 Carolina Panthers-Tampa Bay Buccaneers regular-season game on those protocols, with Tom McCarthy replacing him alongside Tony Romo in the top stand, and now, analyst Charles Davis will miss the Cincinnati Bengals-Tennessee Titans Divisional Round playoff game on Saturday, with Trent Green replacing him alongside Ian Eagle. Here’s more from the CBS version:
THE NFL ON CBS will feature two high-powered matchups as part of its coverage of the NFL Divisional Round this weekend. First, the Cincinnati Bengals take on the AFC’s top-seeded Tennessee Titans on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET. Next, after both teams’ dominating performances in the Wild Card Round, the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs face off Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
… Due to Covid protocols, Trent Green will replace Charles Davis, calling Cincinnati at Tennessee alongside Ian Eagle, Evan Washburn and Gene Steratore.
This is yet another case where having announcer depth is useful. Previously, around Nantz’s absence, CBS was able to lure veteran announcer McCarthy, who works on selected games for them. It meant they had a capable replacement ready to go, and they didn’t need to adjust their other teams on a regular season day when they had a lot of games. Now in the playoffs, with fewer games, it makes more sense to replace the next available analyst (as they only have two games this weekend). But Green is a capable replacement; he has been called NFL Games since 2009 and worked at CBS since 2014, and has been on the network’s third team with Kevin Harlan for the past few years. However, it’s unfortunate for Davis, who joined CBS in 2020 on the No. 2 team and then explained how excited he was to be on that team and have playoff opportunities.
There have been a few instances of announcers missing games on COVID protocols during the 2020-21 NFL season, including Fox’s Adam Amin and NBC’s Al Michaels. This season, however, with much more vaccines available (and with many networks mandating them), there have been far fewer no-shows on NFL broadcasts. The more contagious Omicron variant changes that up a bit, though, and it might not be the last change we see during the NFL playoffs.