This has been a debate amongst NFL players in the league with most recently Drew Brees and Doug Baldwin voicing their concerns regarding TNF games. With all the injuries coming out from TNF games, is it a sensible option or should the NFL abandon it completly?
Seattle’s game against Arizona on the 9th November saw Richard Sherman ruled out for the rest of the season with a Torn Achilles.
Following the game, fellow team mate Doug Baldwin went off about Thursday Night Football saying “This s**t should be illegal, it is not ok. It’s not ok. Guys do not have enough time to recover. You can’t recover in four days.” The game also saw fellow Legion of Boom member Kam Chancellor ruled out for the season after suffering a stinger in his neck which he is yet to recover from is a doubt to recover from for the remainder of the 2017 season.
Fast forward to New Orleans vs Atlanta. Saints quarterback Drew Brees gave his opinion on Thursday Night games. “Do you understand what guys’ bodies go through in a game? And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? … Is this smart as it pertains to guys’ health and safety? No, absolutely not.”
The game saw Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara leave the game with concussion as well as safety Kenny Vaccaro leave with a groin injury, AJ Klein, Senio Kelemete (concussion) and Trey Hendrickson.
Buffalo Bills linemen Richie Incognito also voiced his frustration regarding Thursday games. Speaking to ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak, “They throw a wrench in our schedule. It’s absolutely ridiculous that we have to do this. As physical as this game is, as much work and preparation that goes into this, to force us to play games on four-day weeks, it’s completely unfair and bulls–t. The league makes money off it, and that’s all they care about anyway.”
Despite continuous disagreements with Thursday games, the NFL doesn’t seem to care. At the start of the season, the NFL signed a $50m deal with Amazon Prime to air Thursday night games for one year. The figure of this deal is expected to rise next year when Amazon’s contract expires with Twitter, Yahoo Sports all vying for a potential deal.
In February 2016, CBS and NBC agreed to a two year deal with the NFL to air Thursday games in a deal worth $900m over the two years. This is one reason why the NFL will not abandon Thursday games as there is too much money involved.
Expect the NFL to continue to show Thursday games in the foreseeable future but for now, the health of the players should come first and it’s clear that players don’t want Thursday Night games to continue.