Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Football Team

If you've been waiting patiently for the NFL schedule to be released, you're not going to have to wait much longer and that's because the official date is now set. 

The league has announced that the 2023 schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET. There had been reports on Monday that the schedule release might be delayed until next week, but that won't be happening. 

This year's schedule release will be coming with a few twists and the biggest one is that the NFL will be releasing several games before May 11. Some of those games have already begun to trickle out. 

  • The league's international slate will consist of five games, with three in London, England and two in Frankfurt Germany. Those games are detailed below. 
  • The NFL will be holding a Black Friday game for the first time ever, with the New York Jets hosting the Miami Dolphins in a game that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. 
  • The early announcements will end on May 11 when ABC and NBC both reveal several games that will air on each of those networks. ABC's announcement will be on "Good Morning America" while NBC's announcement will come on "The Today Show."

The 2023 release will mark the fourth straight year that the schedule has come out in May. Before 2020, the NFL schedule was generally released in April, but the date got moved to May during the pandemic. The NFL liked the May release date so much that the league has decided to stick with it. 

The later release date gives the league some extra time to figure things out in case there are any major moves made during the offseason and the league definitely needed that extra time this year. In late April alone, we saw Aaron Rodgers get traded, a move that likely had a huge impact on the schedule. With Rodgers in the fold, the Jets will almost certainly be getting a full allotment of prime-time games this season. 

As for the schedule itself, here are a few more things we already know ahead of Thursday's release:

  • Thursday night opener in Kansas City. The defending Super Bowl champion annually plays host in the opening game of the season, which means that barring something unforeseen, the Chiefs will be the home team in the Thursday night opener. Their home schedule consists of the Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Bills, Bengals, Dolphins, Bears, Lions and Eagles, so the NFL will have plenty of juicy games to choose from, including a possible Super Bowl rematch with the Eagles or an AFC title game rematch with the Bengals. Sending Josh Allen and the Bills to Kansas City for the opener would also be an attractive option for the league. The NFL generally tries to avoid putting divisional games in the opener, so the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos likely won't be playing in Kansas City in Week 1. 
  • International series. Beginning in Week 4, the NFL will play games in London over three consecutive Sundays. On Oct. 1, the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Atlanta Falcons. On Oct. 8, the Jaguars remain in London and become the first NFL team to play consecutive games overseas, taking on the Buffalo Bills. And on Oct. 15, the Baltimore Ravens take on the Tennessee Titans. In Weeks 9 and 10, the action will move over to Frankfurt, Germany. On Nov. 5, the Miami Dolphins take on the Kansas City Chiefs, and on Nov. 12, the Indianapolis Colts take on the New England Patriots. 
  • Monday nights will be changing. The 2023 season marks the beginning of the new media contract, which will usher in some new changes. Two of those changes will involve Monday night games. Not only will there be THREE Monday doubleheaders this year -- up from one last season -- but the NFL will also be able to flex Monday games in 2023 starting in Week 12
  • Christmas tripleheader that will make history. The NFL is planning to take over Christmas this year and the league is going to do that by holding a Dec. 25 tripleheader for the second straight year. With Christmas falling on a Monday, that means we'll be getting the first Monday tripleheader in NFL history. One of those games will pit the Philadelphia Eagles against the New York Giants. 
  • New Year's Eve clash of contenders. On Dec. 31, the last two AFC champions will square off as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Cincinnati Bengals. The game will be broadcast on CBS and Paramount+.
  • Teams could be given two Thursday games. The NFL owners approved a rule in March that now allows teams to play two short-week games starting with the 2023 season. This means that several teams could end up playing multiple games this year on just three days rest. 
  • Every home-and-away opponent for all 32 teams. Although we don't know the time and dates for any game yet this year, we do know who each team will be playing and you can check out the home-and-away opponents for all 32 teams by clicking here.

The NFL schedule release has become a major offseason event for the league and this year is no exception. CBS Sports HQ will have coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET Thursday with Pete Prisco, Bryant McFadden, Danny Kanell, Brady Quinn and Todd Fuhrman all breaking down the schedule.