Bye Week Broadcaster?

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Greg Olsen will call the Rams-Vikings Week 11 match-up.

Greg Olsen will call the Rams-Vikings Week 11 match-up, drawing criticism from the Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

This Sunday, in what will mark Week 11 of the NFL season, Greg Olsen is set to appear in the broadcast booth for FOX’s coverage of the Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings.

This is an interesting move for several different reasons. First, Olsen is still playing in the NFL.

It has become commonplace for players like Tony Romo and many others to make the jump from the field to the press box, but on only a few occasions has an active player called a game during a season in which they appeared in a game.

Week 11 marks the Panthers bye week, and the last week before Olsen can return from Injured Reserve. (Olsen is recovering from a foot injury)

Making matters even more interesting is the week 14 matchup between the Panthers and Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings made have made it known to FOX that they aren’t on board and find it inappropriate that Olsen would call one of their games only weeks before potentially playing them on the field.

A similar situation to this arose in 2014 when Matt Hasselback called a Rams-Cardinals game while still playing for the Colts. The only difference? None of those teams played each other again.

FOX, in a statement to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, offered the following,

“We are excited for the opportunity to make this Sunday’s broadcast fun and insightful with Pro Bowler Greg Olsen, we fully respect the Vikings concerns and will limit the amount of pre-game access allowed to Greg. We look forward to welcoming him in the broadcast booth and giving viewers a unique perspective this Sunday.”

The NFL through a spokesperson delivered the following on the situation,

“We did not object to this. The player will be in the broadcast booth and will not be attending practice or a production meeting.”

Is this the start of a new trend or will the conflict of interest concern become to much hassle for one week of coverage? Definitely something to watch as the NFL tries to find news ways to stop the decline of TV ratings.

This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.

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