Why TNF Has Got to Go

Thursday Night Football is just a mess, with players feeling fatigue before the game and injuries becoming more and more commonplace.

Ethan Hurlburt, Columnist

The NFL’s expanded Thursday games rub players the wrong way, and with general viewership declines, many media executives are blaming the Thursday games for the public’s general football fatigue. Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman says they aren’t getting enough rest for their body going into a Thursday night game.

According to an article by The Players Tribune, Sherman expresses his concerns for the Thursday games, “That’s why the quality of play has been so poor on Thursday nights this season. We’ve seen blowouts, sloppy play and games that have been almost unwatchable — and it’s not the players’ faults. Their bodies just aren’t ready to play.” And the players shouldn’t have to force their bodies to the breaking point for a sport.

The facts are plain and simple: you have players both on offense and defense who aren’t physically prepared to play a game that involves hard tackles and are more prone to injuries, as they haven’t received the appropriate rest a player needs after playing three and a half hours of football. Giving players four days to prepare leaves them with two days to even practice, and guys are still going to be hurting. Many people tell them to just suck it up and play, but for many, it’s a risk to their career if they get injured.

There is, to put a fine point on it, too much football. There is Thursday night. There are Sunday morning London games. There’s the early Sunday game, the late Sunday game, the Sunday night game. The Monday night game. Soon the Saturday games will start. I like football, but this is too much football.

The NFL is being run as a bottom-line business. As long as fans are tuning in and advertisers are paying to be featured on Thursday Night Football, it’s not going anywhere. The only solution is clear: get rid of it to save the players.