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.