Goodell says Thursday football doesn’t put players at risk

AP

Many have questioned whether the proliferation of Thursday football can be reconciled with the league’s unprecedented sensitivity to safety.  Some think it can’t.

Commissioner Roger Goodell believes it can.

More accurately, he has yet to be persuaded that it doesn’t.

“We don’t have any information that indicates from our data that playing on Thursdays in any way decreases the safety of our players,” Goodell told the media after the conclusion of Wednesday’s quarterly ownership meetings.  “The injury rates do not indicate that at all over the years.  So I think we start with facts, and the facts are that that’s not a risk to the players.”

Some would say “facts” should yield to common sense and anecdotal evidence, which comes for example from accounts of players regarding the challenge inherent to preparing for an NFL game only four days after the last one.

Regardless, the players have agreed to the expanded use of Thursday night football.  And so it will remain part of the game until the NFL and the NFLPA agree to stop doing it.

102 responses to “Goodell says Thursday football doesn’t put players at risk

  1. I forgot, Goodell played in the NFL for the….. Oh wait he played D1 college football at…… This is like my mechanic telling me I have a torn rotator cuff.

  2. “So I think we start with facts, and the facts are that that’s not a risk to the players.”

    ———————————————————-

    I don’t think now is the best time for Goodell to be spouting off “Facts”.

  3. Roger can proclaim to be the advocate of player safety, but pushing for an 18 game season, Thursday games, and possibly expanding the playoffs shows that it is all about maximizing NFL profits. At some point enough is enough.

    In light of his other screw-ups of late, it is time for the owners to wise up and send him packing. I doubt they will do it, but losing billions in the ongoing lawsuits may open the owners eyes.

  4. I’ve been advocating for all teams to play Thursday Night games for the last 4 years. But…………all teams should have 2 by weeks. Their regular bye week and a bye before their Thursday Night game. This would expand the season to 18 weeks which would give TV an extra week of broadcast. And take away the extra advantage of the home team.

    Having a bye before the Thursday Night game followed by 10 days off would also give injured players extra time to heal, maybe allowing to the best players on the field for more games.

  5. That should say “the league’s unprecedented pretense of sensitivity to safety while pursuing maximum dollars”. Anything coming out of the mouth of The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person is suspect until proven correct.

  6. The “facts” only fit when they support the shield’s argument. There is no doubt that Thursday night games are taxing on a player.

    The Nfl are one of the hypocrites going talking about player safety only because former players are now suing the league, while wanting to rid the league of kickoffs and cut players job on one of the most exciting plays in the league.

  7. This is really easy, in December move the Thursday Night Games to Saturday Night. No college ball, and it’s when fatigue is really settling in for a lot of teams.

  8. OK, if the players aren’t getting hurt more because of Thursday games (which I do not believe), how about the ridiculous competitive imbalance for the road team on a short week? The NFL should mandate that all the Thursday road teams in 2012 get a Thursday home game in 2013.

  9. According to the LA Times study, the Saints’ “injury rate” over 2009-2011 was last in the league save the San Diego Chargers. Guess those “facts” weren’t worth starting with.

  10. Every year for as long as we can remember the Lions and Cowboys played one Thursday game without anyone mentioning injuries being a factor. All the league is asking for is the rest of the league to do the same.

    A bigger problem is the dilution of the Sunday schedule, especially with bye weeks and a disproportionate number of games on at 1pm Sunday.

  11. As a fan, I love Thursday Night Football. It’s another day out of the week we get to watch the NFL. With that being said, you have to be delusional if you really think it doesn’t put players at a greater risk of getting hurt. A game 4 days after another game? Next thing you know we’re gonna see this guy saying a team in London would flourish also….. oh wait..

  12. I personally enjoy having a Thursday night game to watch if I so choose but it’s just ignorant of Goodell to act like it doesn’t have an effect on player safety.

  13. The people who actually know what playing Sunday and then the following Thursday do to their bodies are the players.

  14. Goodell is a moron, Ravens played 3 games in 17 days to start the season….you want proof, look at their injury totals these days.

  15. im one of goodells harshest critics and even i fail to realize how it puts a player at more risk just bec the day is labeled thurs and not sun lol still has 2 be played regardless of what day it lands on.. and i act like TNF..another day of.. football!

  16. even tho I like the idea of Thursday night football- I think the NFL could do more to include teams coming off byes or atleast say if a team plays the week before it has to be a 1 start- cuz its not like the Thursday matchups have been all that riveting

  17. I wonder did he get that information from the same book that said concussions are not a serious issue.
    I hope these are the last few days of Roger Goodell as the commissioner of the NFL.
    I wonder if Roger loses the defamation lawsuit to Jonathan Vilma, would that be the final nail in his coffin?

  18. So I’m suppose to sit here and believe that the same person who is trying to eliminate kickoffs because of how dangerous it is to players health is also telling me that a player who just played a game 4 days ago isn’t endangering himself ? Most players don’t even feel good enough to walk till Thursday but yet it’s safe to play . Goodell is a bum who is ruining the sport I love and making himself look like an idiot with this bounty case

  19. I am so accustomed to Thursday Night football it would be tough to give it up now. Then again I feel pretty safe on my couch but it is not about my safety.

  20. Can anyone PLEASE tell me what Tagliabue has to do with any of this, and what his findings mean?!! I’m serious. I haven’t heard of ONE outlet that properly explains what power he has and why his ruling has an impact. If he is the previous commish, then why the heck does what he opined even matter?! It’s as if a Judge asks a retired judge to make a ruling (from my perspective). Please, I am reaching out for an explanation. Thanks.

  21. I don’t see any problems with playing Thursday night games as long as the two competing teams play in the same time zones. (I.e. cardinals play rams in st. Louis, broncos play raiders in oakland).

    I’m glad the nfl schedule makers fixed that this season. Eagles didn’t stand a chance last season having to travel to the west coast and play seattle after getting destroyed at home against the Pas.

  22. I don’t see any problems with playing Thursday night games as long as the two competing teams play in the same time zones. (I.e. cardinals play rams in st. Louis, broncos play raiders in oakland).

    I’m glad the nfl schedule makers fixed that this season. Eagles didn’t stand a chance last season having to travel to the west coast and play seattle after getting destroyed at home against the Pats.

  23. This guy can’t be that dumb can he?

    Let’s see, 18-game season, check, 16 playoff teams, check, no kickoffs, check, no hard hitting, check, baseless bounty accusations, check, team in London, check, Super Bowl overseas, check, now Thursday games no added risk, check.

    Conclusion — he is that dumb.

  24. They are watering down the NFL for more money to play Thursday. Keep it sundays and mondays. That way they can keep monday the good prime game. I got to much during the week to stop on Thursday.

  25. I don’t like it and I’ll be at the game tomorrow night. It’s brutal for fantasy football too. Do away with it Roger, please.

  26. He’ll change his tune in a few years when he’s being deposed under oath. It’s all about the money, and validity, of the NFL Network. Period, end of story.

    For the NFL to get their network on “basic” cable without it being a premium pay channel, they had to create sufficient demand for it in the market – hence 16 regular season, prime-time games on Thursday nights. Make no mistake about it – that is all it is.

  27. Most Pro Football players would as Adam “Pacman” Jones stated about himself “Either be dead or in prison without Pro Football” So please try to earn that money.

  28. Roger can proclaim to be the advocate of player safety, but pushing for an 18 game season, Thursday games, and possibly expanding the playoffs shows that it is all about maximizing NFL profits. At some point enough is enough.

    In light of his other screw-ups of late, it is time for the owners to wise up and send him packing. I doubt they will do it, but losing billions in the ongoing lawsuits may open the owners eyes.

  29. Um, no, facts are facts. If the numbers say that players aren’t getting disproportionately injured on Thursday nights, then they’re not.

    Why doesn’t anyone talk about the fact that teams that play Thursdays get 9 days off before their next game?

  30. Instead of Thursday games, they should play two Monday Night games every week. They do on the first week of the season and it seems to work.

  31. Do away with Thursday Night! Like every other working stiff, I get up early and can’t stay up to watch the whole game on Monday, let alone Thursday, and expect to function the next day. It blow up teams practice and injury recovery schedules. Gives unfair advantages in unexpected weeks. Only advantage NFL and NFL Network. Why it won’t change… LONG TERM CONTRACTS W/ CABLE AND SAT. I know people are watching but what the only reason is because that is when it’s fed. Pavlov’s Dog. Ring the bell…

  32. The home team wins the game 65% of the time and most of the time the away team wins it is because the home team is a lesser opponent ie the broncos beat the raiders last week. So basically if its between evenly matched teams the home team will win

  33. Are these ”facts” from the same place you got your ”bounty evidence” from? Look, I don’t even like the Saints but this was handled about as poorly as anything I’ve seen in pro sports outside of the NHL lockout and the replacement refs.

  34. If Goodell wants to help with players safety then maybe he should with this-
    Since January 2000, NFL players have been arrested at least 624 times on various charges, including 42 times this year, according to data compiled by USA TODAY Sports.
    Of those 624 arrests, 177 (28%) were arrested because they were suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    Despite the league’s various attempts to stop the problem, it remains the single-biggest criminal issue in the NFL.
    Nothing else comes close. Nothing else has been more deadly.

  35. Next year I’m going to name my fantasy team name Darth Goodell and as comissioner I’ll impose a lot of dumb rules that dont make sense, impose penalties on teams for no reason, then make dumb comments to everyone. then when everyone demands i step down I’ll just claim im making the league better

  36. Why would anybody agree with anything this slug says? Football is played on SUNDAY and Monday nights. the players need rest and time to heal… its a rough game out there. The NFLPA needs to start trying to get rid of Goodell BEFORE HE GET RID OF THE NFL

  37. What a load of crap. We had a cornerback break his arm on a Thursday night following a Sunday game. Granted the tackle would have ended with the same result had it been a Sunday. But to say this is not an issue of player safety is a bit disingenuous. It should also be pointed out that most NFL fans aren’t engaged with Thursday Night Football as Sunday and Monday Night Football.

  38. Roger Goodell is CEO of NFL Inc. His job is to increase the bottom-line for owners, and market the product as best he can, and put a good face on the business when it comes to public relations.

    That’s not what an NFL commissioner’s job should be, or what the game needs, but that is what it has become.

    Most of the changes the league has made over the past 20 years have fattened the paychecks of owners (GB excepted :)) and players at the expense of the game and its fans.

    Thursday night games are just another in a long list of sacrificing the game to increase revenue.

    How many head coaches like Thursday night games? Zero. No time to prepare, no time to rest players. They could have added another Sunday night game, but that wouldn’t add as much TV revenue.

    There was a time between the 1970s and roughly the early- to mid- 1990s when the game was at its best- because the rules made it that way. Teams that won the Super Bowl or were top contenders were actually complete, balanced teams- could run or pass well, played good defense.

    Since then, the game has been cheapened into more of a flag football contest between QBs and less of a team sport. Outcomes are increasingly decided by jump balls and bad calls, and there is often a disconnect between the play on the field and the score of the game.

    Then of course there are the other problems:

    1. Outrageous player salaries and off-the-field conduct…

    2. One-dimensional, otherwise mediocre, throw-away Super Bowl champion teams…

    3. A host of other franchises that can never compete because they don’t have a good QB…

    4. Stupid lock-outs and referee strikes…

    …The list goes on.

    I think its time to give the NFL the ultimate wake-up call:

    BOYCOTT THE SUPER BOWL

  39. Well, Goodell is an idiot. There’s a simple solution if owners are intent on squeezing the cash cow by adding this horrible product that hasn’t produced one memorable game this year, simply give every team a bye the week before their Thursday game appearance. That way, every team gets to appear on the NFL network, you stop risking players’ careers for a cash grab, and the quality of the games would go up since both teams would be coming in fresh off of 9 or 10 day layoffs.

    The Lions and Cowboys would of course get the same bye every year, but that’s their tradition that I’m sure they won’t give up. There’s actually the perfect number of teams to get this done with the first week following the Thursday kickofff game and the final week being the obvious skips if the league insists on doing this.

    Then, there’s the more logical solution of getting rid of these games all together.

  40. Not really a fan of the Thursday Night games. I like the games on Sunday and one Monday Night.
    The league should really look into adjusting the start times of the Thursday and Monday night game based on who is playing. Two East coast teams should not start near 9pm east coast.

  41. At the end of the day, there are a lot of owners looking to turn a profit when they sell the franchise and have billion-dollar stadiums to pay for (or at least part of the cost). At the same time, players want more and more and more too.

    Neither the NFL or the NFLPA are looking out for what’s best for the game of football.

    Boycotting the Super Bowl would send a message to the NFL unlike any other in the history of professional sports.

    It’s time.

  42. “losing billions in the ongoing lawsuits may open the owners eyes.”

    The League will never, ever lose billions in lawsuits regardless of their merit. Who do you think can afford the best lawyers, the NFL or anyone else?

  43. Roger I challenge you to a fight this Sunday. After we get done beating the crap out of each other, or more likely I get done beating the crap out of you, we’re going to have a rematch. Tell me would you rather the rematch be 4 days later or 7 days later? What an idiot. The players ALL say how difficult it is to recover so quickly. Will go down as worst commissioner the NFL ever had

  44. “We don’t have any information that indicates from our data that playing on Thursdays in any way decreases the safety of our players,” Goodell told the media after the conclusion of Wednesday’s quarterly ownership meetings.
    ———————————————

    OK, so you don’t ‘have’ any information. At any time, did you ever RECEIVE any information should be the question.

  45. It’s bad for the game and for the players. Less time to heal and less time to prepare mean the product is not as good as it could/should be. The only positive is increased revenue from another prime time game. The money always wins. The changes over the last several years are ruining the game.

  46. The owners really need to get rid of Goodell and hire a new commissioner that will get rid of Thursday night games, shelve the idea of an 18 game season, halt the spread of international games, provide financing, staffing and rule changes that allow for appropriate medical care for players . . . and most importantly, stop using hard water when simonizing the owner’s grandkid’s BMW’s. It’s so embarrassing for a 16 year-old to drive a Porsche or Beemer to school with streaks on the finish. Dammit Roger!!!!

  47. Most of you forget a few points:

    1)Goodell is the paid mouthpiece for the owners. The owners act like gods.

    2)The NFL didn’t give a **** about player safety until they started getting sued.

    3)Thursday football is all about money. More revenue for the owners at the player’s health expense.

    4)The owners form their own network, then use the money given them by the commercial networks(billions of dollars) to form what will be a competing network to the networks that just paid them billions of dollars.

    This is the nose of the camel under the tent. They want ALL of the games on the NFL Network and you will either pay per game or not see it. That is the game plan. You can deny it, but you won’t when the camel poops on your Sundays.

  48. For years, all you heard was that the Lions and Cowboys had an advantage by playing on Thanksgiving Thursday because of the time off afterward. Now that we have Thursday games, its a “disadvantage” because of the short week of practice prior to that. Funny how it’s an advantage to the teams you dont like, but when your team has to play a Thursday game, all of a sudden its a disadvantage. Leave Thursday games alone, its the only excuse I have to get out of the house and go to BWW’s with the guys midweek.

  49. They should have asked each individual player.
    What’s so difficult is when the Union, as an entity, agrees to certain things in the heat of negotiating. I don’t believe that player safety was ever part of the conversation in the “give and take” that occurs at the negotiating table.
    Former players I have talked to indicate that a document circulates in the locker room, via email et al. asking that the player sign his name allowing the union to act for them. For small issues like expanding the schedule or Thursday play don’t ask for player approval. The players are partially responsible for their fate for granting the Union unfettered authority to act for them.

  50. Why don’t they just schedule the Thursday night teams to have their bye the previous weekend?
    ===================

    Oh, sure. All the teams that already complain when they get stuck with the week 4 (too early) or week 10 (too late) bye would just love to see even earlier and later byes possible.

    The expanded Thursday slate is a scheduling nightmare no matter what you do. It’s too hard to make it fair. I like watching NFL games as much as anyone but to me it’s just a money-grab for the NFL, which wasn’t exactly struggling before. I can’t believe the NFLPA agreed to it. I wouldn’t really miss it, especially if they just brought back the late-season Saturday games after college TV contracts are done.

  51. There is no way Goodell will ever admit this. Their broadcast team is terrible and NFL Network is garbage beyond Rich Eisen and any broadcast with Faulk, Irvin, and Sanders together. Thursday football is for thanksgiving only. But much like everything else Goodell does, its another bad idea.

  52. The answer is simple. Add a second bye week to the season. Allow that plays on a Sunday to not have another game until Thursday night, a week and half later. After they play that game, they get a second bye week.

  53. How is this guy still Commissioner? Has he watched any Thursday night games? Its a terrible product on Thursday. Players haven’t recovered from the last game and that leads to injuries. I love watching the NFL, but leave Thursday nights to the colleges as the NFL the play on the field is sloppy.

  54. Is Goodell using actual hard data now to assess the impact of Thursday night games on injury stats? Does that mean he’s also using data to assess the impact of his fining programs on injury stats? Is he going to share this data with the public so we can all see the numbers?

  55. So … the commissioner says he has data to assess the impact of Thursday night games on injury stats? Does that mean he’s also using data to assess the impact of his “safety” measures on injury stats? Is he going to share this data with the public so we can all see how well his programs are working?

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