What happened to Al Michaels, and where was he on Sunday Night Football?

Joshua Rogers December 20, 2021
What happened to Al Michaels, and where was he on Sunday Night Football?
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

What happened to Al Michaels, and where was he on Sunday Night Football, as the legendary play-by-play commentator missed Thanksgiving weekend and Week 15’s game.

Al Michaels is synonymous with the NFL having spent over 30 years covering the league with ABC Sports, and now, NBC.

Since 2006, Michaels has headlined the network’s Sunday Night Football show as the lead play-by-play commentator.

However, the 77-year-old was absent from his normal duties recently, prompting fans to ask what happened to Al Michaels.

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What happened to Al Michaels?

It was a big Thanksgiving weekend in the NFL a few weeks back. The Lions and Cowboys kicked things off (as usual) on Thursday, before the Saints hosted the Bills on Thanksgiving evening.

The Ravens then hosted the Browns on Sunday Night Football, but Michaels was not covering the game.

Instead, Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Kathryn Tappen formed the announcing team for the Week 12 Sunday night game.

Then, more recently, Al was missing from his duties during the Week 15 matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints. Once again, Cris Collinsworth was joined by Mike Tirico in the booth.

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Where was Al Michaels on Sunday Night Football recently?

Thankfully, Al Michaels has just been wrapping up his own vacation, as he has taken more time off as he’s gotten older. These days, Michaels usually picks and chooses which games he calls, and he decided he wanted Thanksgiving, as well as the Week 15 game, off this year (who could blame him!).

Interestingly, Michaels tends not to make certain road trips to the East Coast because of the travel involved. This is also the second straight year NBC gave Michaels the entire Thanksgiving week off.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Michaels’ future beyond this season

Fans better get used to Tirico on their screens as he’s replacing Michaels full time at the end of the season.

Al’s broadcaster’s contract with NBC ends after this season and Tirico will be taking over on Sunday Night Football.

Michaels is expected to become the announcer for Amazon’s Thursday night games, who may or may not also be touting Troy Aikman.

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Joshua is a Senior Sports Writer at GRV Media with over five years of experience in online writing and editing. After receiving a BA (Hons) in Ancient History and an MA in Sports Journalism, he became a writer for a leading social publisher with over 7 million Facebook followers. Joshua then joined Reach PLC, covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online and regional publications like the Liverpool Echo. He then moved to a social media marketing agency and content studio, Brave Bison, acting as Website Editor for The Hook. Joshua now oversees all sports content on The Focus, specializing in NBA, NFL, F1, and tennis, while also keeping a close eye on his beloved Manchester United.