After Gruden left to return to coaching, ESPN decided to make significant changes to the Monday night crew, moving play-by-play man Sean McDonough to college football and bringing in Tessitore as his replacement, then persuading Witten to retire from the Cowboys and adding McFarland as Monday Night Football’s first ever on-field analyst. Their first opportunity to show they can improve upon the old broadcast will come in an old Monday night broadcaster’s return to coaching.
In every previous year that the NFL has had two Week One Monday night games, the top commentating team has worked the early game and a backup crew has worked the late game. This year ESPN apparently figured there would be synergy with having its new team work former announcer Jon Gruden’s return to Oakland, and also figured that the Rams-Raiders game would be better than the Lions-Jets game earlier in the night.
The Colts are targeting a training-camp return from quarterback Andrew Luck from his shoulder injury.
Last year, the Colts seemed to be resigned to the possibility that Luck may not be ready to participate in training camp as the offseason program concluded. It was regarded as a surprise at the time, and some regarded our effort to read between the lines as #clickbait and/or #fakenews. Obviously, it was neither. (For a change.)
This year, the target continues to be training camp.
“[The] timeline’s good,” Colts G.M. Chris Ballard said during a recent visit to PFT Live. “You know, he’s actually not even throwing a football. He’s doing everything we’re asking him to do. He’s got a program specifically laid out that puts his timeline to be back at training camp. He didn’t want to skip a step. I don’t know if he skipped a step last year, but I think he felt the pressure of coming back.