METAIRIE, La. — NFL football on a Friday?
The 2020 schedule will include a rare quirk when the New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day.
It will be the first Friday game since the San Diego Chargers beat the Tennessee Titans on Christmas night in 2009. And it will be just the 11th NFL game played on a Friday since the 1970 merger.
“There was some Christmas magic involved here,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “Another Saint, St. Nick, put in the request for that game as an extra present.”
The matchup itself should have some significant NFC playoff implications. This will be the fifth meeting between the Saints and Vikings in the past four years, including playoff wins by Minnesota in both the 2017 and 2019 seasons. New Orleans will have a chance to avenge its overtime wild-card loss to the Vikings from this past January in the Superdome.
Both teams will be playing on just four days’ rest, but neither team has a Thursday game on the schedule. The game will air on Fox and the NFL Network, and stream on Amazon.
Christmas has traditionally been a showcase for the NBA. But the NFL often schedules games on the holiday when the calendar lines up — including double-headers when Christmas landed on a Sunday in 2016 and a Monday in 2017. The NFL did not play any games the last time Christmas fell on a Friday in 2015.