Amid complaints that Thursday games force players who are banged up to hit the field without enough time to recover from their games on the Sunday before, the NFL is considering a change: Allow 49, not 46, players to suit up on Thursdays.
The proposal (which is technically a bylaw change, not a rule change) would raise the number of active players for games on any day other than Sunday or Monday, other than in Week One. So that would include the Thursday games in Weeks 2-16, the two Saturday games planned for Week 16 this season, and any other game that happens to fall on a day other than Sunday or Monday for whatever scheduling reason.
If passed, the rule would result in only four of the 53 players on the roster being declared inactive for a Thursday game, giving coaches three extra bodies and giving teams some extra depth.
This rule probably wouldn’t change the fact that players aren’t crazy about playing on Thursdays. But it might be a small step toward keeping players fresher when they’re coming off a short work week. It’s a rule the owners should pass.