San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin doesn't subscribe to the belief that the NFL is taking all efforts to make the league safer for its players. Boldin took part in an online chat for the Bay Area News Group with fans on Monday, as noted by the San Jose Mercury News, and said that the league is just "covering their butt" when it comes to the new-found emphasis on player safety.
Boldin said there are "things that just don't make sense" when the NFL claims to put player safety as its highest priority. "I mean, if you're so concerned about player safety then why do you have every team in the league playing on Thursday night when they just competed on Sunday, knowing how difficult it is for guys to get back to being healthy after playing on Sunday?" Boldin said.
NFL fans often look to Thursday Night Football matchups when the official schedule is released to determine when the toughest portion of said schedule will be. It's a valid concern, given that the NFL has so few games per season due to the fact that it's such a physical game. Short weeks are often looked upon negatively by coaches and players.
Boldin did credit the NFL with a few niceties, however. When asked if he had seen the PBS documentary League of Denial, Boldin said he had not seen it yet, but gave the league credit for better policies regarding the gameday handling of concussions — namely taking the diagnosis out of the hands of head coaches.
Still, Boldin did eventually say, "The league can say they're doing things to protect guys, but I'm not one of the guys buying it." Boldin is an 11-year veteran of the NFL, and is currently the leading receiver on the 49ers. He's missed over 15 games due to injury over the course of his career.