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NFL may use bigger active rosters for Thursday games


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.

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45 Responses to “NFL may use bigger active rosters for Thursday games”
  1. ez4u2sa says: Mar 23, 2014 11:10 AM

    Sounds like a good idea. As far as I’m concerned, the more players active on Sunday, the better. The other expansion they should pass is the number of players that can be returned from IR is a season.

  2. ajgreenhof says: Mar 23, 2014 11:20 AM

    I have a better idea. Stop playing Thursday games.

  3. thecatsmeow2014 says: Mar 23, 2014 11:26 AM

    Why not activate the whole 53 man roster every game and be done with it!

  4. krunch209 says: Mar 23, 2014 11:31 AM

    If they are going to do Thursday games, why not do them for teams coming off the bye week.

  5. glennsyank13 says: Mar 23, 2014 11:37 AM

    Why not let the whole 53 man roster play every week?

  6. xbam1 says: Mar 23, 2014 11:38 AM

    why would they not do this for all games played??

  7. aagro12 says: Mar 23, 2014 11:42 AM

    FINALLY! A change that makes sense.

  8. miriam45 says: Mar 23, 2014 11:45 AM

    Makes sense – And the Pats fake injury reports

  9. lionsfan54 says: Mar 23, 2014 11:50 AM

    With there being a minimum salary and a cap, why even have roster limits? Have as many or as few guys as you can afford.

  10. bryans49ers says: Mar 23, 2014 11:52 AM

    What a joke this league can be at times

  11. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 23, 2014 12:19 PM

    He finally got one change right

  12. pftbro says: Mar 23, 2014 12:32 PM

    I guess they are getting ready for Wednesday games, also…

  13. superdave4good says: Mar 23, 2014 12:33 PM

    Thursday Night Football (TNF) safety can be enhanced simply by scheduling the games around teams coming off bye weeks (Wk 1 is obviously not coming off a bye). This may lower the number of TNF games from 17wks but it shows sincere concern for player safety & shows the players they are being heard. There were 9 weeks containing byes in 2013 and thus, 10 opportunities for teams to not have to play TNF on a short week. Perhaps they add one more week of byes, making 10 total, which would allow for 11 of 16 weeks (including week 1) of TNF w/o a team having to play on a short week (there’s already no TNF in wk 17). Also prevents teams from having to play short weeks late in year when already beat up & needing more rest.

  14. tictoccpthook says: Mar 23, 2014 12:50 PM

    Expand the roster for all games. Forget about adding new games, the championship team should be intact, as mush as possible, for the Super Bowl. More T V time could be had by adding another rest day for each team during the season.

  15. chc4 says: Mar 23, 2014 12:57 PM

    I don’t see how they can do it for Thursday night games but not others. Rules need to be the same for every game.

  16. danno1212 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:02 PM

    I don’t see how this helps much, adding three guys that never play to a game day roster, doesn’t take pressure off the players that you really need on the field every game.

  17. ijahru says: Mar 23, 2014 1:03 PM

    1. Why not just make the whole roster active?
    B. NFL games on Thursday nights suck, Not the quality of the game just having them on Thursday. NFL football is meant for Sunday’s and Monday Night

  18. nirvana504 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:05 PM

    I rarely watch the Thursday night games. I usually have other things to do.

  19. sellout1983 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:06 PM

    Hey, why don’t we just have a thousand teams, and we’ll have a game every single night of the week 365 days a year in every city in the country?

    NFL continues to do an outstanding job of watering down its own product.

  20. upperdecker19 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:08 PM

    How about a 25 man roster for London games (11 offense/11 defense/punter/kicker/snapper)? Being that no one wants to go to those stupid games!

  21. hound32 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:16 PM

    Why not activate the whole roster ? it makes no sense to have any player not active unless they are injured .

    play ball !

  22. dtlb58 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:24 PM

    Coaches have been fighting for this for decades! The only plausible reason the owners wouldn’t want to activate 49 or 53 on game day is of course $.

  23. commonsensedude says: Mar 23, 2014 1:39 PM

    How about a rule limiting the number of continents regular season games are played in to one. Players have been asking for this rule as well.

  24. bricktop02 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:49 PM

    They should get rid of MNF&TNF all together. Maybe Roger should put on a set of pads and play two games on a short week and see how he feels afterwards.

  25. dcowboy77 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:50 PM

    Yea can we get an answer on why all 53 cant be active ?

  26. scbaby2013 says: Mar 23, 2014 1:57 PM

    I wish they would add a developmental league to this as well

  27. mjmistretta says: Mar 23, 2014 2:08 PM

    Stop Thursday night games and bring back the big hit

  28. afcdomination says: Mar 23, 2014 2:17 PM

    I still want an NFL Minors type of deal, some sort of league to develop players

    but really, they should just make 53 the active gameday roster size. I have always felt having 7 guys not dress for the game was a really stupid idea.

  29. nuttyj says: Mar 23, 2014 2:19 PM

    This active list thing has been stupid for years now. If you are paying 51 players or whatever on your active roster, then barring injury you should be able to dress them all. For all the talk of player safety and reduce damage to bodies this is the biggest no brainer of them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. mshawn75 says: Mar 23, 2014 2:25 PM

    Let me guess… New England’s idea. Eliminate PAT’s, N.E’s idea. 6 Extra cameras, N.E’s idea. Whenever they don’t win a Super Bowl… change the rules.

  31. SergeantKabukiMan says: Mar 23, 2014 2:30 PM

    Translation: We know it’s wrong. But we can’t turn down ratings/$$$.

  32. bert1913 says: Mar 23, 2014 2:44 PM

    i would rather watch the starters play myself

  33. newguy925 says: Mar 23, 2014 2:59 PM

    As a gambler I love taking home dogs on Thurs night. Play ’em every week.

    As a fan, give them as many extra players as possible on Thursday. Guys are still trying to get right from the previous Sunday and won’t be 100%. Give them a chance to play less snaps and let the coach keep the game time decision players active without losing depth.

    This is a different situation, I’m glad they recognize that.

  34. renbutler says: Mar 23, 2014 3:32 PM

    Also, if you want a bye week before every Thursday game, then you have two teams on bye in week 1 and two in week 16 — as if that’s fair.

    Again, just one short week a year, and now the teams will probably have more players available for those short weeks.

    The league listened, problem solved.

  35. leatherface2012 says: Mar 23, 2014 3:36 PM

    also they could try playing them at say 9am. that way at work, if you’re not very busy, you could blow 3 hours that way 🙂

  36. thetooloftools says: Mar 23, 2014 3:38 PM

    I would go with 50 extra players… and then see how many of those players EVEN play because your not going to trot those guys out unless the game is a blowout.
    Who is kidding whom?
    “Yea coach… I don’t want to go in even though it’s a tight game… I might not be able to recover”?
    Albert Haynesworth doesn’t even think this makes sense.

  37. purpleppleeaters says: Mar 23, 2014 3:42 PM

    Ditch the stupid Thursday night games and have one on Saturday night instead. (While you’re at it, move the Super Bowl to Saturday, too.) Why is the NFL not taking full advantage by putting their product on national television on the biggest party night of the week?

    Thursday? Yawn!!!!!!!

  38. bobnelsonjr says: Mar 23, 2014 3:54 PM

    It is just a slippery slope until the next step of having 49 on the active roster for ALL games.

    Football should be played by full time players. Reduce the rosters to 32 players and have player participate in the full game and not take more than 50% of the plays off.

    Real players can play both offense and defense and when real players are kickers there is no need to talk about changing PAT attempts or FG attempts or narrowing the uprights.

    There is no need for so many part time players!! No player even participates in 50% of the plays anymore. It is a disgrace.

  39. Ferdinand says: Mar 23, 2014 3:57 PM

    If you really cared about player safety you would stop the practice of over-scheduling some teams. Every year you have some team (or two) that plays 3 games in 2 weeks time. No one can recover in that short of time. Who cares if they they get a buy after those three games. 3 games in 14 days is criminal.

  40. rycheandroll says: Mar 23, 2014 5:22 PM

    This change, while it looks nice in theory, will have minimal impact on the game – Think about it – how often do you see 3rd and 4th stringers getting playing time to keep people fresh – because that is exactly what who the extra 3 players would be.

    The better ideas, and noted before, are to have the teams playing on Thursday have a bye the week before, or to simply do away with Thursday games…

  41. truthistold2u says: Mar 23, 2014 5:54 PM

    Would this include Saturday Playoff games?

  42. edavidberg says: Mar 23, 2014 6:24 PM

    I agree with everyone that says they need to have teams play after their bye weeks. Thursday football is awesome just give them extra time to prepare.

  43. larryed says: Mar 23, 2014 8:41 PM

    Interesting…no one seems to actually know why they don’t play all 53.

  44. scyankee9999 says: Mar 23, 2014 9:06 PM

    Or simply change the bye schedule to include the two thurs night teams get their bye the week before a thur game. This gives them 11 days off before a game and around 10 after.

  45. brimab says: Mar 23, 2014 9:21 PM

    God I hate those stupid Thursday games.

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