NBC reshuffling NFL crew, ditching Thanksgiving tradition

Kathryn Tappen will make her NFL debut on the sideline Sunday night with NBC shuffling its broadcast teams with two games this week.

Tappen, who grew up in Morristown, N.J. and ran cross country at Rutgers, will join Mike Tirico and Tony Dungy in Green Bay for the Packers-Bears game. The three make up the Notre Dame broadcasting crew.

Tappen has NFL experience as she covered the Patriots for seven years in Boston. She has also worked NBC’s NFL pregame show as a reporter including two Super Bowls.

For the Thanksgiving night game between the undefeated Steelers and the Ravens, Tirico will team up with Cris Collinsworth because Al Michaels is off this week. Michele Tafoya will be on the sideline Thursday night.

With Tirico in the booth for both games, Liam McHugh will host “Football Night in America” with Jac Collinsworth at the game on Sunday. For Thanksgiving, with no pregame, Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Tafoya will handle halftime, along with the game action.

Usually, NBC hands out turkey legs to the game’s star, but the pandemic has paused that tradition started years ago by John Madden. Instead, Tafoya will lead the presentation of the not as tasty, but perhaps as prestigious, Turkey Leg Trophy.

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