The unofficial NFL players against Thursday Night Football squad is growing, with Ben Roethlisberger being the latest to join the army.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Roethlisberger said that the Thursday night games are “miserable” and that the NFL needs to get rid of them:
Ben Roethlisberger joins gang of NFL players railing on TNF when asked on weekly radio show about difficulties of Thurs turnaround: pic.twitter.com/1qw6da9oTw— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) November 13, 2017
In Week 10, the Seahawks and Cardinals played a Thursday game that wasn’t productive for either team, even though Seattle came away with the win. The Cardinals had D.J. Humphries and Tyvon Branch suffer injuries. The Seahawks, on the other hand, lost six starters, including Richard Sherman for the season. Sherman started the anti-Thursday night movement last season, when he called the game an “absolute poopfest.”
The injuries from last week’s game prompted a pretty strong reaction from Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin. "This shit should be illegal,” he said. “It is not OK. It’s not OK. You can quote me on that.”
The difficulty with Thursday games is the short turnaround time. Football — especially at the NFL level — is a game with violent impact on every play that takes a toll on the body. Three-day turnarounds aren’t close to enough time for full recovery, and last week’s game was a prime example.
Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner provided a possible solution, suggesting that teams that would be playing on Thursdays have a bye week the week before.
Regardless, the more noise is made about how bad these games are for player safety, the closer we get to something being done about them. Whether that’s an agreement to how they’re laid out on the schedule, or whether they’re abolished all together has yet to be seen.