Travis Fulgham’s introduction to the NFL world came in prime time during Week 4. The Eagles will hope their emerging wide receiver can come up big on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 7.
When Philly hosts the New York Giants, it’ll be without a number of their best players due to injury. But Fulgham will be out there, the Eagles’ top target, just four weeks after almost no one knew his name. Carson Wentz will have almost no choice but to count on Fulgham, who’s had 16 catches across the last two weeks. It’s been quite the rapid rise for someone who didn’t play football until he was a junior in high school.
Here’s what you need to know about Fulgham ahead of “Thursday Night Football.”
1. Travis Fulgham has lived in five different countries
The Athletic reported on the bouncing around Fulgham did growing up as the son of parents who worked for the United States Agency for International Development. After being born in Virginia, Fulgham moved to Jordan, Egypt, South Africa, back to Jordan and finally to New Delhi in India. In Cairo, Egypt, Fulgham lived minutes away from the pyramids.
The various homes meant Fulgham never played football growing up. The Athletic reported that Fulgham played cricket, and swam, and played baseball, “everything but American football.” Fulgham’s move back to the United States for high school was in part to get exposure for sports, but not football: Fulgham’s hope was to draw college basketball coaches’ attention.
2. Travis Fulgham walked-on at Old Dominion
Because Fulgham had never played football, it took one coach suggesting to the athletic teenager that he could be good at it for Fulgham to try it. He made all-state in his first year playing. He transferred to play stronger competition as a senior but still didn’t garner scholarship interest, so he walked on to Old Dominion, an FCS program in Virginia.
Fulgham earned a scholarship by the end of his first September on campus. Fulgham was good in his first three seasons after redshirting, but it was a senior year game against No. 13 Virginia Tech where Fulgham turned pro heads. He caught nine passes for 188 yards and a score in an upset win for the Monarchs. Fulgham finished his senior year with 1,063 yards and nine touchdowns, enough for a Senior Bowl invite and an NFL Combine invite.
3. A Detroit Lions sixth-round draft pick
Fulgham was given a fourth-round grade by The Athletic heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, but the Lions didn’t pick him until the sixth, making him the 184th overall selection. He played in three games with Detroit in 2019, not recording a catch on three targets. The Lions cut Fulgham for good in August. The Packers acquired Fulgham, then waived him.
The Eagles picked up Fulgham off waivers from the Packers, but they cut him on Sept. 4. Fulgham was retained on the Philadelphia practice squad and activated on Oct. 3. A day later, he was catching the winning touchdown on Sunday Night Football against the 49ers.
4. A savior for the injury-ravaged Eagles
The Eagles’ injury list seems as long as its active roster, and it’s filled with pass-catches galore: Alshon Jeffery, Jalen Reagor, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. They weren’t all hurt when Fulgham caught his game-winning touchdown against San Francisco, but it’s only gotten worse since then.
Luckily for Philadelphia, Fulgham has been up to the task. In Week 5, Carson Wentz targeted Fulgham 13 times, and he caught 10 passes for 152 yards and a score. Then in Week 6, Fulgham had another six catches for 75 yards and a TD. He was the Eagles’ most-targeted wideout in both of those games.
With some of the passing-game absences looking to be longer than just one-week misses, Fulgham likely isn’t going anywhere. Besides, with the way he’s produced, the Eagles may have lucked their way into a gem.
Both of Week 6’s “Sunday Night Football” participants have already played on Sunday night during the 2020 season.
The Los Angeles Rams have a Sunday night win under their belt and will travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers, who are 0-1 on Sunday night in 2020. San Francisco (2-3) is coming off a 43-17 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, so Sunday night will provide a chance for a bounce-back, marquee win. The Rams have now won back-to-back games against bad NFC East teams, the Giants and the Washington Football Team, to move to 4-1 on the season.
Jimmy Garoppolo was pulled during the 49ers’ loss to the Dolphins for C.J. Beathard, as Kyle Shanahan explained he thought Garoppolo was still dealing with the lingering effects of an ankle injury. If the 49ers want to keep up with a high-powered Rams offense led by Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, they’ll need Jimmy G to be healthy and effective.
Below is more about the matchup, plus everything to know about how to watch “Sunday Night Football.”
Who plays on “Sunday Night Football” tonight?
The 2020 NFL season has already seen the 49ers play a prime-time game at Levi’s Stadium once before. On “Sunday Night Football” against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4, the 49ers lost 25-20 with Nick Mullens playing quarterback.
The Rams hosted the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 on “Sunday Night Football” and were winners, 20-13. L.A. will be hoping it can keep its SNF luck going while keeping the 49ers winless on Sunday night this season.
The 49ers will return to Sunday night action in Week 15 against the Cowboys, and will also play a Thursday and Monday night game still to come. The Rams are right back in prime time next week on “Monday Night Football” against the Chicago Bears.
What time is the NFL game tonight?
All “Sunday Night Football” games in 2020 have the same set start time of 8:20 p.m. ET. There are Sunday night games scheduled for every week of the season except Week 17, though the NFL has the ability to flex a game into a Week 17 SNF window.
While the start times for all “Sunday Night Football” games in 2020 will go unchanged, the matchups might be tweaked.
The NFL has a flex scheduling procedure that allows for “quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.” Here are the key rules for flex scheduling:
— Begins Sunday of Week 5 and in effect during Weeks 5-17
— Up to two games may be flexed into Sunday night between Weeks 5-10
— Only Sunday afternoon games are subject to being moved into the Sunday night window
— The game that has been tentatively scheduled for Sunday night during flex weeks will be listed at 8:15 p.m. ET
— The announcement will come no later than 12 days prior to the game
What channel is “Sunday Night Football” on tonight?
All “Sunday Night Football” games in 2020 will broadcast live on NBC. The network’s TV rights deal with the NFL gives it all “Sunday Night Football” games as well as the annual Thursday night season-opener, and NBC is given a spot in the Super Bowl broadcast rotation.
NBC’s team of announcers features play-by-play man Al Michaels, analyst Cris Collinsworth and sideline reporter Michele Tafoya. However, Michaels this season will be given a few “bye weeks” because his age (75) puts him at a high risk for COVID-19. Veteran broadcaster Mike Tirico will take Michaels’ place on those weeks.
Below are the top TV markets in the United States and the NBC affiliate/TV channel for each.
NFL live stream for “Sunday Night Football”
Because NBC broadcasts all “Sunday Night Football” games, they are available to stream on all of the network’s online platforms. This should be the preferred method for those who have a cable/satellite subscription but can’t get in front of a TV.
For cord-cutters, there are plenty of live streaming options for “Sunday Night Football.” Below are all of them.
“Sunday Night Football” schedule
Including the Thursday night NFL season-opener that was presented by NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” crew, there are 17 SNF games on the 2020 schedule.
Before flex scheduling impacts the matchups, here is the complete “Sunday Night Football” schedule for 2020.
Murray Walker backs Lewis Hamilton because he’s avoided Michael Schumacher’s dirty tactics while Fernando Alonso puts the German ‘one step ahead’… as the debate rages on, who have the experts picked as the best of the two legendary racers?
Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of F1 race victories at 91
There has been debate for some time over which of the great drivers is better
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso both believe Schumacher is No 1
But a number of the sport’s legends side with Hamilton, noting his clean driving
Debate has raged for some time now over who the greatest Formula One driver is between Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher.
The argument bubbled up again recently after the Brit equalled Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins. He is also on course to level with the F1 icon on seven world championships this season.
Sebastian Vettel declared that his German compatriot, who continues his recovery from a life-changing skiing accident in 2013, remains unrivalled as the best he’s ever seen.
But there are many who disagree and some point not only to Hamilton’s incredible winning record but also the clean driving style.
While it is of course difficult to compare two juggernauts with different eras, cars and rule changes, the argument is an inevitable one and some of the great names in the sport have weighed in with their verdicts.
Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are now both level on 91 Formula One race wins
Hamilton is on course to equal Schumacher’s seven world championships and was presented with a helmet belonging to the German by his son Mick after matching his win record
The German is regarded as an all time great but there is debate over who is the greatest
Teams: McLaren, Mercedes
Total starts: 261
Pole positions: 96
World Championships: 6
Teams: Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes
Total starts: 306
Pole positions: 96
World Championships: 6
TEAM SCHUMACHER –
The German sided with his childhood hero and compatriot despite paying tribute to Hamilton’s remarkable achievement of 91 wins.
‘I think I can’t respect his (Hamilton’s) efforts enough,’ he told Motorsport.com
‘It’s been the number in my head that I thought would never be beaten or equalled. I think we can be quite certain he will exceed this number.
‘Nevertheless, I have to say that Michael will always be my hero. And I think Michael had something about him that I haven’t seen in another driver so far.’
‘I think he was better than anybody else I’ve ever seen so far. I think he had a natural talent that is very difficult to explain.’
‘On top of that, he had an incredible work ethic, but I think it’s the combination of the two that for me stands out. I haven’t seen a match yet.
Sebastian Vettel (L) believes Schumacher (R) was better than his rival Hamilton
Fernando Alonso –
Alonso has locked horns with Hamilton down the years but the two-time world champion does not rate his old rival as on the same level as Schumacher.
He believes that what sets them apart is the fact that Hamilton has twice been beaten to the title by team-mates in the same car.
He said: ‘It is difficult. These are different eras and cars with different levels of performance.
‘I remember Michael as a driver who is hard to beat, one with the greatest talent.
‘He had that little bit extra. Lewis is very good and the best of his generation but he did not win the championship with McLaren when he was a teammate of Jenson Button At Mercedes, Nico Rosberg also won it.
‘Michael never had such things. He always won. For me, Michael is one step ahead.’
Fernando Alonso believes the German is the driver with the most amount of talent ever
Murray Walker –
The legendary former motorsport broadcaster is well placed to offer his opinion having worked on so many races where both men were involved.
His reasoning for siding with Hamilton is that Schumacher became renowned for ruthless, occasionally blatantly unfair tactics to win or prevent others winning.
In terms of a disciplinary record, Hamilton is squeaky clean in comparison.
Walker said: ‘In my opinion – and this is very contentious indeed – better than either Schumacher or Senna because both of them, Schumacher and Senna, adopted at various times in their career, highly debatable driving tactics.
‘Like Schumacher stopping deliberately at Monaco to prevent [Fernando Alonso] getting pole position, like Schumacher colliding with Villeneuve at Jerez in 1997, like Senna with [Alain] Prost in 1990 in Japan.
‘Lewis Hamilton has never been anything like that. He’s always driven as clean as a whistle.
‘He’s an extremely nice, gigantically talented driver, and I don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody like him before.’
Murray Walker’s voice was synonymous with F1 for many years and he picks Hamilton
Mark Webber –
The Australia Formula One veteran spent 11 years in the sport and echoed Walker’s sentiments about Hamilton’s refusal to fight dirty.
‘I would take Lewis over Michael because of his completeness,’ he said.
‘I am not saying Michael wasn’t anything because we are comparing two juggernauts. Michael put our sport into a whole new stratosphere in terms of fitness and approach. He was an extraordinary pioneer.
‘But some of Michael’s numbers are challenged in terms of how he went about certain things. So, Lewis, in terms of how clinical he is, how he has done some pretty special stuff in weaker cars, I would have him by a whisker.
‘When he can smell victories and the real stuff, which is winning championships, he is absolutely frightening.’
When Lewis is eight out of 10, he is special, but when he is 10 out of 10, going for it and is hungry, he is pretty much unbeatable.’
Mark Webber is another former star to side with Hamilton and not his clean driving style
Jacques Villeneuve –
Villeneuve and Schumacher clashed during their title battle of 1997 and the German appeared to deliberately crash into his rival in the final race of the season. Schumacher was disqualified from the race and the move backfired anyway, allowing Villeneuve to go on and claim the championship.
It is perhaps unsurprising then that he rates Hamilton above his old foe.
‘I would rate Lewis above Michael, by miles,’ he declared.
‘There’s very little negativity with Hamilton. You can like or not the way he is in life but there’s nothing nasty or negative with it. There’s nothing nasty towards his opponents. There’s respect towards his opponents,’ he emphasised.
‘There’s no question mark on ‘Is he cheating or not? Has he been dirty?’. That makes a big difference.
‘And that’s how every champion should be.’
Schumacher tried to take out Jaques Villeneuve (left) in the Jerez GP back in 1997
Eddie Irvine –
Irvine may have Ferrari loyalties but his verdict was much the same as the other pro-Hamilton advocates.
He told Frontway: ‘Hamilton’s probably the best racer that’s ever been.
‘As a racer, one-on-one with another guy, I think he’s the best. Much better than Michael [Schumacher] was, much better than [Ayrton] Senna.
‘He very seldom gets involved in accidents, Hamilton, because he’s so focused on driving his car to get ahead. He’s probably the cleanest driver we’ve had in a long, long time.’
Eddie Irvine thinks that Hamilton has surpassed both Schumacher and Ayrton Senna
Eddie Jordan –
Jordan was the man who gave Schumacher his Formula One debut but after one race the German was lured away by Benetton.
He believes the playing field was moved in Schumacher’s favour, a key reason for his success.
Jordan explained to talkSPORT: ‘Everyone has their own view on this, but I am of the view Hamilton has already surpassed Michael.
‘Michael started with me so there is a love affair there, but there is a situation some people may not fully grasp.
‘At the time I handled people like [Rubens] Barrichello, [Eddie] Irvine, [Giancarlo] Fisichella and [Jean] Alesi, and every time we went to sign a contract with Michael Schumacher or Ferrari it always had conditions in it.
‘You can’t have that in a competitive sport, where one part of the team dictates to the other.
‘For me, that is a flaw factor for Michael. Seven World Championships… how many would he have won if he hadn’t had the influence and support of the other people in the team? And I’m not just talking about team members – I’m talking about the drivers.
‘Lewis is already in a different league, in my opinion. He’s done it on his own.’
Eddie Jordan puts Hamilton way above where Schumacher was as No 1 in the sport
Rubens Barichello –
The Brazilian is another F1 Ferrari alumni but thinks Hamilton is the complete package.
‘Hamilton has a talent that is possibly even greater than that of Ayrton and Schumacher,’ he told ESPN Brasil.
‘The only thing he lacked was maturity. He has progressed on that, and now you see the final product.’
‘The perfect driver would have Ayrton’s skill, Schumacher’s courage and Hamilton’s coordination. It would be something to see!’
Rubens Barichello, former Ferrari driver (centre), believes Hamilton could have the most talent
Jenson Button –
Button has seen at close quarters how talented Hamilton is as his team-mate for three years at McLaren.
While he did not directly compare the two greats, he ranked Hamilton as the most gifted driver he’s seen.
‘Lewis’s natural ability is extraordinary,’ Button told the Evening Standard. ‘He’s probably the most naturally gifted driver ever and he seems as determined as ever.
‘When I used to be his team-mate, he’d do things on track that would just leave me saying, ‘Wow’.
‘For example, I’d be quicker all weekend and then, bam, he’d come out in qualifying and be three-tenths of a second quicker than me. He’s very good at pushing the car to the absolute limit.’
Jenson Button (right) was Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate before he retired from racing
SITTING ON THE FENCE –
Toto Wolff –
Given Wolff’s long and fruitful partnership with Hamilton as the Mercedes team principal, you would think he would come down on his driver’s side of the debate.
But he was diplomatic and chose not to pick between him and Schumacher.
‘Lewis, in my opinion, along with Michael, are the best we have ever seen,’ Wolff told The National.
‘We’re only going to realise when he retires one day. We tend to never acknowledge somebody’s great performance while it happens.
‘We are always full of the types of people who retire or die. But they are never saying ‘This guy is really unbelievable, we’re alive to witness an exceptional performer’.
Toto Wolff (centre) believes Hamilton (left) and Schumacher are the two greatest ever
Bernie Ecclestone –
The former Formula One chief executive has seen it all over the years but believes the debate is impossible to resolve due to the difference eras.
He told Firstpost: ‘You cannot say anything bad about Lewis, you cannot say he is not good, that is not the point.
‘How good he is compared to somebody else, well he is super, super talented and would be amongst the top five drivers for the last 30 years.
‘Was he better than Michael? Would Michael have been better in that car (Mercedes)? You can’t say.’
Bernie Ecclestone thinks it is impossible to compare drivers from different eras properly
Ross Brawn –
The Formula One managing director believes there are a number of parallels between both legendary drivers.
Following Hamilton equalling Schumacher’s race wins record, Brawn wrote in his column for the F1 website: ‘It’s a remarkable achievement. Michael always said that records are there to be broken, but I admit I didn’t expect to see this one broken so soon.
‘And I can’t imagine Lewis is going to stop here. The way he’s going, he will raise the bar in the next few years to a level that will be astonishing.
‘Michael was a driver who was very dramatic on track in many ways and had a very quiet persona away from the track. Lewis is almost the opposite – quiet but lethal in terms of delivery on track, but his flamboyance comes out away from the track.
‘You couldn’t have two more different characters. Both have achieved an astonishing accomplishment.’
Ross Brawn believes there are a number of parallels between Hamilton and Schumacher