NFL plans a Monday night playoff game

The NFL is planning to alter its playoff schedule, with a Monday night game added to the mix.

Wild card weekend is likely to have two Saturday games, three Sunday games and a Monday night game, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Last year the NFL expanded the playoffs to seven teams in each conference, which resulted in the number of wild card games increasing from four to six. At the time, that meant three Saturday games and three Sunday games. This season, the schedule is shifting.

A key difference is that last year the College Football Playoff Championship Game was on the Monday after wild card weekend, and the NFL wouldn’t schedule a playoff game head-to-head with the college football championship. This year, with the NFL regular season a week longer, the college football national championship game is the day after the final Sunday of the regular season, when there’s no Monday night game scheduled.

The team that wins the Monday night wild card game will be at a competitive disadvantage with a short work week before the divisional round. The NFL will surely schedule that team for the Sunday of the divisional round, rather than the Saturday, but the coaches of wild card teams will undoubtedly prefer to avoid the Monday night slot.