After Richard Sherman got hurt during a Thursday Night Football game against the Cardinals in early November, a handful of Seahawks players sounded off on the NFL for forcing guys to go out and play on Thursday nights, just four days after taking part in games on Sundays. Players like Doug Baldwin and Bobby Wagner ripped the NFL and said Thursday Night Football is to blame for the rash of injuries that NFL players are dealing with these days. They weren’t the first players to argue against Thursday Night Football, but they did provide some of the angriest responses to Thursday night games yet.
After losing to the Falcons this Thursday night, Drew Brees joined the Seahawks players in blasting the NFL over Thursday Night Football games. The Saints saw a slew of guys go down during the game against Atlanta, as Alvin Kamara (concussion), Kenny Vaccaro (groin), and others were forced to the sidelines, and Brees wasn’t happy about it at all. He unleashed on the NFL and said he hopes those in the league’s front offices are paying attention to all the injuries players are suffering.
"One hundred percent a product of playing on Thursday night," Brees told reporters. "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."
Brees might be in a position to do something about the NFL’s approach to Thursday night games, too. He’s a players’ union leader and said he plans on addressing all of the issues with Thursday Night Football at some point in the near future.
"When you see guys go down, when you lose guys for what you think is unnecessary just because you put them at a much higher risk in such a quick turnaround, that gets you upset," Brees said.
As much as many NFL fans enjoy watching football every Thursday night, it’s starting to feel more and more like the league isn’t going to be able to keep Thursday Night Football around forever. There are guys going down with injuries left and right during these games, and if enough players speak out against it, the NFL is going to have to do something about it. For now, players are just going to have to deal with it, but clearly, it’s going to continue to come at a cost for many players whose bodies can’t handle the quick turnaround that Thursday Night Football forces upon them.