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NFL sees no increase in injuries on Thursdays

Goodell AP

When the NFL expanded its slate of Thursday night games, some questioned whether forcing more players to play in more games with less time off would lead to more injuries. But the NFL says that hasn’t happened.

According to a health and safety press release published by the NFL this week, the Competition Committee asked the league’s medical advisors to study whether there was an increase in the number of injuries — and specifically an increase in concussions — during Thursday night games. And the study said there was no increase at all.

The league says concussion rates were similar on Thursdays to Saturday, Sunday and Monday games, and the overall injury rate was actually slightly lower for Thursday games — 5.2 injuries a game on Thursday and 5.3 injuries a game on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

It’s easy to be skeptical, of course, when the NFL itself is the source of this information: Would the league really tell us if more players were getting hurt in the games that were moved to Thursdays to give the league-owned network more programming? But that’s the NFL’s story: There are no more injuries in Thursday games than in any other games.

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39 Responses to “NFL sees no increase in injuries on Thursdays”
  1. rr2000k says: Mar 27, 2013 12:37 PM

    And do you think they would say otherwise?

  2. nineroutsider says: Mar 27, 2013 12:38 PM

    What about the quality of play? Many of Thursday games I’ve seen have been sub-par in terms of quality of play.

  3. logicalvoicesays says: Mar 27, 2013 12:38 PM

    This statement was made with a blindfold on. #NationalFixedLeague

  4. jnovi86 says: Mar 27, 2013 12:41 PM

    Anyone else notice how they just gloss over the point that ya injuries were down by .1, yet only 2 teams play thurs and the rest play Sunday…

  5. blacknole08 says: Mar 27, 2013 12:44 PM

    I agree somewhat, but you can see that players are tired going into and while playing Thursday night games.

    I’ve actually noticed two trends — The games are low-scoring or it’s a complete blowout were one team has given up. I don’t know if this really affects viewership though.

  6. tinopuno says: Mar 27, 2013 12:45 PM

    If it comes from the NFL office, it must be true! They have always been completely honest in the past!

  7. kylexitron says: Mar 27, 2013 12:45 PM

    I enjoy the thursday night games, gives something to look forward too during the week.

    However I think they need to work it out so that the teams playing are either coming out of, or going into their bye week.

  8. yetimonster says: Mar 27, 2013 12:47 PM

    Why not hire a statistics intern to figure it out instead of question the source (make your own source)? Or isn’t there a pro football stats site collecting this info?

  9. agelardi says: Mar 27, 2013 12:48 PM

    What would be the point of the league lying about it? To keep 1 game on a Thursday nightif it was effecting the quality of the product the rest of the season. The NFL has 15 other weeks to consider.

    Also, I would think this info could be relatively easily to confirm or discredit.

  10. ijahru says: Mar 27, 2013 12:49 PM

    Other than Thanksgiving football on Thursdays SUCKS. I feel Sundays and Monday night are when the NFL should play. Goodell is going to water down the league by adding extra game nights and expanding overseas. Right now 32 teams in 2 conferences 8 divisions is perfect. 16 regular season games is perfect. Please don’t get too greedy Rog and water down the league that we love.

  11. skoobyfl says: Mar 27, 2013 12:52 PM

    Eventually, the Tuesday / Wednesday / Friday games will show an even less likelyhood of injuries.

  12. iamapatsfan says: Mar 27, 2013 12:53 PM

    jnovi86 says:
    Mar 27, 2013 12:41 PM
    Anyone else notice how they just gloss over the point that ya injuries were down by .1, yet only 2 teams play thurs and the rest play Sunday…

    They counted injuries per game, not per day. That’s what they said.

  13. robf2010 says: Mar 27, 2013 1:00 PM

    Don’t know how they can see ANYTHING over that pile of money …

  14. musicman495 says: Mar 27, 2013 1:00 PM

    Of course, there is no data regarding players already injured from previous weeks whose play is subpar or who are kept out of the game entirely, because they are not healed properly by Thursday.

  15. tmcb7 says: Mar 27, 2013 1:01 PM

    In a related story…
    This same competition committee was hired by the NCAA to study how not having a playoff in CFB is REALLY want the public wants.

    (after diligent work, the committee confirms the public does not want a playoff)

  16. chawk12thman says: Mar 27, 2013 1:15 PM

    With all the scrutiny and law suit depositions that will be occurring I don’t see where the NFL could really cook the books on this. In fact, with the injury reporting that occurs as part of the normal NFL process, if someone wanted to spend the time they should be able to do the same type of analysis.

    I believe the numbers………I also love Football on Thursdays, so I may be biased…..

  17. cooklynn17 says: Mar 27, 2013 1:17 PM

    The NFL players need to Man-Up, the league has been playing games on Thanksgiving (Thursday) for years and nobody ever complained about being tired. And the only knock on the quality of play was because the hapless Lions were playing.

    The point is a team can only play on Thursday night once a year so what’s the big deal? Not only that but then they get an extra 3 days off on the back end of it before going into the next game.

    And I’m sure the league will try to center most of those games where teams come of bye weeks, just to help the process as much as possible.

  18. mjclementz says: Mar 27, 2013 1:19 PM

    I would be more interested in seeing how many injuries occured AFTER playing in a Thursday game, like the following week. I think that’s when the fatigue would become a risk factor, and from a distant glance it doesn’t appear that this study is monitoring that.

  19. kenny328usa says: Mar 27, 2013 1:28 PM

    Of course not. They would never find fault in something that gets them more of those coveted prime time dollars. If Goodell had his way there would be a prime time game on 7 days a week. He doesn’t care about injuries. He cares about revenue.

  20. shaggytoodle says: Mar 27, 2013 1:28 PM

    I love football as much as anyone, but I think it should go back to the way it was, when they would start Thursday games after Thanksgiving.

  21. kenny328usa says: Mar 27, 2013 1:30 PM

    mjclementz the only problem with your idea is that after a Thursday game they are most likely playing on 9 days rest the following week

  22. sbaltimore says: Mar 27, 2013 1:33 PM

    The NFL sees what it wants to see. And expects everyone else to do the same.

  23. bspurloc says: Mar 27, 2013 1:51 PM

    injures?$$$$$$I$see$no$injuries$$.

  24. mrsulldog says: Mar 27, 2013 1:52 PM

    I don’t expect the NFL to do away with Thursday night games any time soon, as they need the games to showcase on their tv network, but they have to be concerned about the watered down level of play due to the irregular schedule. The flex scheduling doesn’t help much either.

  25. roadtrip3500 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:19 PM

    The result is not a surprise, given that most teams only practice once during the short prep week and they usually will sit injured players for the game, where they might try to go if it were a Sunday. Thus the guys that do play a Thursday game are generally healthier and more rested.

  26. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Mar 27, 2013 2:24 PM

    I am sure they already have a health and safety press release ready saying that it sees no increase in injuries under an 18 game regular season.

  27. dennisatunity says: Mar 27, 2013 2:25 PM

    logicalvoicesays:

    You claim you hate everything and yet here you are, deeply into reading every article you can about the NFL. I think you’re kind of sad.

  28. raiderlyfe510 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:29 PM

    NFL network really needs to hire talented game announcers. The production of those games were horrible. Almost unwatchable.

  29. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 27, 2013 2:33 PM

    As is always the case with stuff like this the devil is in the details. I’d like to be able to see what the specific parameters were of ‘the study’, types of injuries etc & also how many games were included in the dataset. Also the short time between Sunday to the Thursday game injuries may not happen on the Thursday night game itself, but in the following practices or even next game from a longer term wear & tear standpoint so unless they expand the snapshot of time they are looking at its in no way conclusive.

  30. cooklynn17 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:37 PM

    Says the Radier fan.

    Maybe they were unwatchable because your team wasn’t in them.

  31. seaeagle707 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:41 PM

    Question: Do all 32-teams currently have to play at least one Thursday night game, after playing a Sunday game?

    Quite frankly I don’t see the fairness in making a team possibly take a hit in the standings, because the players weren’t ready (because they were tired from travelling to/from the Sunday game, playing it, rushed practices, and travel to the Thursday game).

  32. cliffordc05 says: Mar 27, 2013 2:45 PM

    The full effect of Thursday games may not be specifically on the night the games are played. I would be interested to see the number of late season injuries suffered by players since Thursday games began compared to seasons without Thursday night games.

    Thursday games add to the overall exhaustion of players and a quick look at the number of injuries suffered during those particular games is meaningless.

  33. joeyashwi says: Mar 27, 2013 2:50 PM

    NFL football used to be an event. Sunday and Monday only. Having it on four times a week has watered it down, in my opinion. I used to devote my whole Sunday and every Monday night to watching football. Now, with games turning into a 3 1/2 hour commercial fest, and having games on four nights a week, I just watch my team. I’ve actually freed up a lot of time and watch LESS NFL now even though it is on more. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  34. onbucky96 says: Mar 27, 2013 3:28 PM

    Wow. The NFL didn’t find a link on games played on the NFL Network and injuries. Neeeeever saw that coming.

  35. deanok says: Mar 27, 2013 3:55 PM

    dosent the nfl get it the injuries are caused by fautige. these are men not boys that play this gane .there is not enough time to recoupe or game plan .coaches and players spend way to much time playing the game and not enough quailty time planning and repairing enough is enough give us back quality football SUNDAYS ONLY 1200 TO 600 PM

  36. vader7176 says: Mar 27, 2013 4:11 PM

    And who’s network broadcasts thursday games exclusively? Yeah just what I on thought. No conflict of interest here (says the NFL).

  37. jnbnet says: Mar 27, 2013 4:13 PM

    joeyashwi says:
    Mar 27, 2013 2:50 PM
    NFL football used to be an event. Sunday and Monday only. Having it on four times a week has watered it down, in my opinion. I used to devote my whole Sunday and every Monday night to watching football. Now, with games turning into a 3 1/2 hour commercial fest, and having games on four nights a week, I just watch my team. I’ve actually freed up a lot of time and watch LESS NFL now even though it is on more. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
    =============================
    It might be that way where you live, but on planet earth, it is on three times a week. It seems to me that a lot of the complainers are the same ones who say the NFL is turning into flag football. Be tough….let them hit….but you cry about injuries for a Thursday night game. Get real!

  38. jeffa43 says: Mar 27, 2013 4:43 PM

    Nfl sees what they want to see…

    Nfl is like the gov.

    Money is all that matters…

  39. whitdog23 says: Mar 27, 2013 5:08 PM

    will NEVER understand why the NFL doesn’t pick teams coming off bye week for Thursday game…making them purely divisional matchups and more intriguing!!

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