NFL players spent much of the 2016 season attempting to send a message to the higher-ups that they’d rather not play Thursday night games.
Despite player safety risks and a noticeable drop in quality of play, commissioner Roger Goodell ignored the messages, stating in January that he thinks the mid-week games are a better product than Sunday games.
But the players aren’t giving up so easily.
Recently, veteran NFL stars Richard Sherman, Chris Harris Jr., and Malcolm Jenkins, plus NFLPA president Eric Winston, voiced their opinions about some league policies in a round table discussion with ESPN’s Jim Trotter.
Harris had a telling response when asked about one thing he would change about the NFL.
“I would change Thursday night games,” the Denver Broncos cornerback said. “Just because of the recovery. It’s not so much after the game, how you feel on Thursday; it’s getting to the game.
“It’s a struggle. I don’t think any (player) can say that they feel great on Thursdays.”
Related – Sherman: Thursday games are a ‘poopfest’
Sherman and Jenkins agreed, and Harris said there “ain’t no way” anyone can expect the quality of play be be replicated on Thursdays when players are still feeling the effects games played the previous week.
Jenkins, a Philadelphia Eagles safety, pointed out the difference between players not wanting to play football and wanting to play in fair, safer circumstances.
“As players, our problems with the Thursday night games isn’t the actual game,” Jenkins said. “It’s not that we don’t feel like we can perform on the stage because if you put us on the football field and turn on the lights, we’re going to play … That’s what we’re going to do, whether it’s in the parking lot or on the field.
“I think the part they don’t explain and can’t articulate is how we feel and what it takes for us to get ready for a Sunday night game, let alone a Thursday night.”
Jenkins admitted that players aren’t going to boycott Thursday games, but they do feel like the league has taken advantage of that fact.
“If we don’t have to put ourselves in that kind of environment with that kind of risk, we’d rather not do that as players.”
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