The NFL regular-season schedule is expanding from 16 to 17 games, the first increase since the league went from 14 to 16 games before the 1978 season. Team owners approved the 17th game today as expected, with the extra contest being an interconference matchup based on where teams finished in the previous season. The Super Bowl now will move back a week to Feb. 13, which places it directly in the middle of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. NBC is the rights holder for both events.

Players agreed to the additional game as part of their 2020 collective bargaining agreement, which gave the league an option to expand as soon as the 2021 season. The preseason will be reduced from four games to three to maintain compliance with the CBA, which limits the total number of preseason and regular-season games played to 20.

There will remain one bye week per team. The season will begin on Thursday night, Sept. 9, and will end on Jan. 9, 2022. The Pro Bowl will be played on Feb. 6, 2022, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles has been pushed back one week, from Feb. 6 to Feb. 13, 2022.