Joey Bosa and the Las Angeles Chargers will play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night for a spot in the playoffs. Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The NFL’s schedule changes for Week 18 will feature exactly what the league wanted: a Sunday night showdown for a playoff berth.

To finish off the NFL’s first 17-game season, the Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders game was flexed from daytime to primetime. Both AFC West rivals are 9-7 and the winner will advance to the postseason.

“Each week has a life of its own in the NFL. It’s having a life of its own since the beginning, and that’s the way we need to treat things around here,” Chargers Coach Brandon Staley said. “And the more, the longer that we’re here, the more people will realize that every week is going to feel like this coming week.”

Also in the mix for the final wild-card slot in the AFC – New England owns one of them – are the Colts, the Steelers and the Ravens. If Indianapolis wins next Sunday at Jacksonville, it’s in. Pittsburgh must win out, but could still fall short.

Baltimore needs all sorts of help, but is mathematically alive and must break a five-game slide on Sunday against Pittsburgh. The Ravens would get the nod if they finish at 9-8 with the Chargers and Colts because they swept the other teams. But if the Raiders are 9-8 along with Baltimore and Indy, Las Vegas goes for the same reason.

A Chargers loss eliminates them.

The league also switched two games from Sunday to Saturday. Kansas City, already the AFC West champion, will be at Denver, followed by Dallas at Philadelphia. Neither of those games has the strong postseason implications of Chargers-Raiders.

The Chiefs (11-5) could get the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a victory but would need Tennessee (11-5) to lose at Houston. Denver is out.

Dallas (11-5) has won the NFC East and Philadelphia (9-7) owns an NFC wild card.

The other games in Week 18 are AFC West champion Cincinnati (10-6) at Cleveland; NFC North winner and top seed Green Bay (13-3) at Detroit; Seattle at Arizona, which owns a wild-card berth at 11-5 and still could win the NFC West; New Orleans (8-8 and in the mix for an NFC wild card) at Atlanta; the New York Jets at AFC East leader Buffalo (10-6), who take the division with a victory; San Francisco (9-7 and also in contention for an NFC wild card) at NFC West leader Los Angeles Rams (12-4); New England (10-6), which still could win the AFC East with a victory at Miami and a Buffalo defeat; Carolina at NFC South winner Tampa Bay (12-4); Chicago at Minnesota; and Washington at the New York Giants.

There are more permutations that will make heads spin. For example:

• A four-way or five-way tie at 9-8 for wild cards is possible in the AFC. If the Dolphins and/or Browns also get to that record, the Colts have the edge based on best conference record.

• While the Saints have the edge on the Niners for an NFC spot at 9-8 based on a better conference record, in a three-way tie with the Eagles, Philly is in with the best conference record and then New Orleans gets the other berth over San Francisco.

• Finally, there are scenarios involving ties that even some of the teams might not be sure of.

EAGLES: The Philadelphia Eagles placed defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and tight end Dallas Goedert along with 10 others on the reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Saturday’s regular-season finale against Dallas.

The Eagles (9-7) already have a playoff berth clinched with only the seeding still to be decided Saturday night when they host the Cowboys (11-5) as either the sixth or seventh seed in the NFC. Under the NFL’s revised COVID-19 protocols, the Eagles could get all 12 back before kickoff.

Joining Cox and Goedert on the reserve list are linebackers Genard Avery and Alex Singleton, safeties Marcus Epps and Rodney McLeod, guard Nate Herbig, running backs Jordan Howard and Boston Scott, center Jason Kelce, cornerback Avonte Maddox and tight end Jack Stoll.

Philadelphia got one player back from the COVID-19 list, activating cornerback Andre Chachere.

WASHINGTON: Taylor Heinicke is expected to get a 15th consecutive start at quarterback for Washington in the team’s season finale at the New York Giants.

A week after broaching the possibility of playing Kyle Allen some in the final two games, Coach Ron Rivera said Monday, “We’ll start off with Taylor and then we’ll go from there.”

Heinicke took every snap of Washington’s 20-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and threw an interception in the end zone in the final minute.

Of course, Rivera’s plan does not rule out Allen seeing some action for 6-10 Washington, which is still trying to figure out a QB plan of the future.

Heinicke, in his first full NFL season at age 28, has thrown for 3,299 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions after replacing injured veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Allen turns 26 in March and could be a viable option moving forward as a backup or a placeholder for a rookie.

COWBOYS: The Cowboys expect to be without wide receiver Michael Gallup for the remainder of this season.

Arguably their top deep threat is feared to have torn his ACL on a 21-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of a 25-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, team owner Jerry Jones said. An MRI that was conducted Monday confirmed the club’s initial diagnosis, a source confirmed to The Dallas Morning News. The source said it was a clean tear of his left ACL.

GIANTS: Quarterback Mike Glennon hurt his left wrist and will require surgery. He will miss the final game.

Jake Fromm is expected to start Sunday with Brian Lewerke coming off the practice squad to back him up.

TITANS: The resilient Tennessee Titans now are two-time AFC South champs and just one victory away from making the AFC playoffs come through Nashville.

So much for a season during which they’ve been without the league’s two-time rushing champ since Halloween and used 88 players, most ever for a non-strike season in the NFL.

The Titans (11-5) go to Houston on Sunday to wrap up a third straight season in their old hometown. This time, a Tennessee victory locks down the No. 1 seed in the AFC, something this franchise has done only twice previously since leaving Texas and not since 2008.

And they just might have Derrick Henry back for the playoffs. Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said they’ve been discussing when to open the 21-day practice window for Henry, who still ranks sixth in the NFL with his 937 yards rushing despite a broken right foot that put him on injured reserve Nov. 1.

“He’s doing some work today, and we’ll see when that window opens and probably make a decision mid-week,” Vrabel said.

RAIDERS: Rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs was arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge shortly after the team returned from a road game in Indianapolis.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that dispatch received a call at about 4 a.m. about a driver asleep inside a vehicle parked on an exit ramp of a parking garage.

Police made contact and Hobbs failed a field sobriety test and was booked at the Clark County Detention Center for a misdemeanor DUI.

Las Vegas police spokesman Officer Aden OcampoGomez said Hobbs was processed following his arrest. Jail records did not reflect whether Hobbs was still in custody by Monday afternoon.

A police report was not immediately available.


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