Several NFL Players Want TNF to Go
It seems that no matter what the league does to make the game safer or to please the fans, they always seem to get heavily criticized for it, more specifically in this piece, the players. To the fans liking, the NFL brought on Thursday night games back in 2006. It started out as eight games, but has increased to 14 just last season. The players now use TNF as fuel to criticize the league concerning their efforts to make the game safer. They also point to Brian Hoyer’s ACL tear during a Thursday Night Football game as another reason why TNF should go.
Texans’ tackle Duane Brown is not a fan of Thursday Night Football, especially this season. To his body’s demise, Brown’s team has played two back-to-back overtime games. The first one occurred on Sunday, November 18th, followed by Thursday, November 22nd. That made for a combined total of 172 snaps in one week, leaving Brown at a high level of pain and fatigue that he’s never experienced before.
“That Friday, everything was hurting; knees, shoulders,” he recalls. “I didn’t get out of bed until that night. I didn’t leave the house at all. You talk about player safety, but you want to extend the season and add Thursday games? It’s talking out of both sides of your mouth.”
The NFL conducted a study on whether or not it was more dangerous to play on Thursday than Sunday, and the league found that there was not a drastic change in injuries, averaging 5.2 injuries per Thursday game compared to 5.3 injuries on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. While it is a tough turnaround playing a Sunday game and then preparing for a Thursday game 4 days later, those teams also get extended time before the next game, so you’d think it’d even things out. Everyone likes a weekend off every once in a while right? After all, the summers are just too short.
More players sound off with their discontent regarding Thursday Night Football.
“It’s a problem,” said Broncos guard Louis Vasquez.
“I don’t like them,” says Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. “I guess because they don’t play in the league office, they don’t understand how your body feels.”
Andre is right on that one. They truly don’t know how it feels, and probably never will, along with many of us. But what they do have a firm grasp on is money, and how it can be made with the talent at hand that is handsomely rewarded for their physical efforts.
“We were lucky to get ours done early,” said Chiefs lineman Geoff Schwartz. “When I saw the schedule come out it was awesome. You can recover in Week 3. Now, I don’t actually feel good until about Saturday.”
“People don’t actually know this,” says Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett. “After the game, it’s normally Friday and Saturday when your body starts feeling better. I’ve been around for 13 years, so it takes a little longer to recover.”
Let’s gravitate away for a moment from the injury concerns and try to fathom who would be interested in tuning into a Thursday night NFL game which often contains a great team vs a terrible team, or worse. This upcoming Thursday, we have the 2-10 Houston Texans vs the 3-9 Jacksonville Jaguars. Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand can answer that pretty sufficiently.
“You have Houston and Jacksonville, which no one is looking forward to, but even that game is going to win the night on cable within the male demographics everybody sells, and it will be one of the top 5 or 10 shows on TV. The power of the NFL and why they want to go to Thursday is more evident in this game that in any other.”
I feel personally that the players knew what they were getting into as early as high school, and while their school was most likely paid for with their high talent level in the sport of football, they easily could have taken that opportunity to get a desk job with a relevant degree, putting them far out of harms way on the field. The league is indeed making vast improvements on the quality and safety of the game. In this business, sacrifices have to be made to earn a check, and the decision was entirely up to the player to enroll in such a field of work.
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Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Austin Peat @PistolPeat187