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Players don’t mind Thursday night games, if coaches give them rest

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Many NFL players have spoken out against Thursday night games, saying the short week doesn’t give them enough time to recover after playing on Sunday. But the NFL Players Association says it’s a little more complicated than that.

According to NFLPA spokesman George Atallah, the key is that coaches need to give their players enough time off to recover from Sunday. When coaches take it easy at practice during a short work week, players feel ready to go on Thursday night. When coaches don’t, players don’t.

“Frankly, we don’t have a comprehensive data set yet,” Atallah told the Hollywood Reporter. “But here’s anecdotally what we’ve heard from our members: Players who have good coaches don’t mind the Thursday night games because the coaches give them enough time to rest from the Sunday games. And players who have bad coaches don’t like Thursday night games because they are not able to recover physically.”

If Atallah is right, this issue should eventually take care of itself. Coaches will learn not to push it during a short work week because they’ll see that players who have been overworked struggle on Thursday nights. Smart coaches already know that.

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38 Responses to “Players don’t mind Thursday night games, if coaches give them rest”
  1. hakunamangata says: Jul 17, 2014 7:05 PM

    Sure, and players want to go back in after concussions because their paychecks aren’t based around incentives.

  2. kwjsb says: Jul 17, 2014 7:09 PM

    I don’t mind working on Thursdays either and I don’t make millions playing a game…

  3. qdog112 says: Jul 17, 2014 7:11 PM

    There’s noway for the body to fully recover from Sunday to Thursday, under normal circumstances. The NFL should just shelve the farce about player safety concerns and admit that the only thing that matters, is maximum profit.

    Only diehard management defenders, dare repeat the big lie re: player safety. So, now when players use chemical aids to assist in rapid recovery, they’ll be summarily suspended

    I’m not sure if there’s any turning back and my guess is that the league doesn’t even care if frontline players start getting injured. The NFL appears to be of the belief that players are all replaceable, since fans worship “colors”, so it’s all about the SHIELD.

  4. goraidersgospurs says: Jul 17, 2014 7:12 PM

    Will all the players who want there full game check line up here, those who want a lighter check & shorter practice make a line over there!!!

  5. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 17, 2014 7:29 PM

    Thursday Night Lites.

  6. thehatefulnerd says: Jul 17, 2014 7:30 PM

    Schedule the BYE WEEK before Thursday games. duh.

  7. bucsorbust says: Jul 17, 2014 7:35 PM

    The players should carry their gripes to the NFLPA who negotiated all of this, not the NFL. This is one reason the players get the big bucks. The violin I’m holding on this one is very, very small.

  8. steves11 says: Jul 17, 2014 7:37 PM

    Thursday night games are a made for TV creation anyway. Personally, I don’t need them and I’m sure most other fans feel the same way. They’ve got Monday Night Football already. Let the rest of the games be on Sunday, like it always was.

  9. 106reasons says: Jul 17, 2014 7:38 PM

    There’s a reason most Thursday night games have sucked. Two days of actual practice just isn’t enough to prepare.

  10. thetooloftools says: Jul 17, 2014 7:49 PM

    Rest… really? This is a joke.
    Unless you get hauled off the field .

  11. ravensrunthenfl says: Jul 17, 2014 7:55 PM

    So essentially the browns and bengals hate Thursday night games.

  12. rextraordinaire says: Jul 17, 2014 8:08 PM

    Its gonna be interesting to see what the Bears’ and Cowboys’ coaching staffs do, as both teams have back to back Thursday games. They both play on Thanksgiving, and then play each other the following Thursday.

    On a related note, the NFL must make an assload of money every time the Bears and Cowboys play each other on national TV, because this is the third straight year they’re doing it.

  13. rextraordinaire says: Jul 17, 2014 8:12 PM

    Also, I always think to myself “why don’t they just make it Friday Night Football?”

    But then I remember that I live in the midwest where no one cares about high school football, and that is definitely not the case in other parts of the country.

  14. jlmd17 says: Jul 17, 2014 8:24 PM

    Every man who worked pretty at much at any time in human history, and is now sadly passed – just rolled in their grave!

  15. BigAlHeBDMan says: Jul 17, 2014 8:36 PM

    Maybe they should play the 2nd string on Thursdays so the 1st team can rest.

  16. garyhd01 says: Jul 17, 2014 8:38 PM

    in the first couple weeks players are not that tired and like another poster has said the teams that play on thursday should only do so after their bye week so its 10 days after a game then 10 more days after the next and if the league wants certain matchups then schedule those teams to have the same bye week, the last thurs game would be the thurs after the last bye week. we can live with 13-14 thurs games!!

  17. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jul 17, 2014 9:03 PM

    The solution is OBVIOUS: Teams playing on Thursday nights have a bye-week the week before which gives them 11 days of rest before the game and 10 days until the next game.

    Next issue!

  18. guiness17 says: Jul 17, 2014 9:13 PM

    thehatefulnerd says: Jul 17, 2014 7:30 PM

    Schedule the BYE WEEK before Thursday games. duh.

    ———————————————————–

    Seems too ridiculously simple, doesn’t it? No doubt it would make scheduling that much tougher, but it can certainly be done.

  19. krunch209 says: Jul 17, 2014 9:15 PM

    Its an easy fix NFL. Thursday games should be played by teams coming off the bye. So you can have a Thursday game in week one then start them again when the bye weeks start.

  20. 34defense2014 says: Jul 17, 2014 9:52 PM

    qdog112 well said

  21. seachicken64 says: Jul 17, 2014 10:23 PM

    I am guessing they don’t complain too much about the ten days until their next game.

  22. renbutler says: Jul 17, 2014 10:50 PM

    There’s only one short week per team per season. If the players are saying they can make it work, not a single one of us is in a position to contradict it.

  23. renbutler says: Jul 17, 2014 10:52 PM

    You can’t schedule every Thursday game after a bye. Then teams would rightly complain about byes in week 1 and 2, or weeks 14 and 15.

    So, no, it’s not ridiculously simple.

  24. realfootballfan says: Jul 17, 2014 11:06 PM

    The easy fix for this is to give the two teams playing on Thursday the bye on the Sunday before their Thursday night appearance. every team appears. you have 16 matchups and obviously the last couple of weeks of the regular season, it wouldn’t be done. You’d also have to make some concessions and cut a couple of Thursday games early in the year so that Dallas and Detroit can have their yearly Thanksgiving games, eliminating the night one that they’ve added in recent years. Better product, players won’t be subjected to unnecessary injuries, win/win for everyone if they’re bent on having this as the next package of games.

  25. mark0226 says: Jul 17, 2014 11:41 PM

    So look back at who complained about Thursday games to see who the bad coaches are.

  26. randomcommenter says: Jul 18, 2014 12:32 AM

    It seems the players just don’t like practice period. Cutting practice seems to be their answer for everything.

    Most Thursday games have been terrible. I hope they get rid of them except for Thanksgiving.

  27. britishraven says: Jul 18, 2014 2:27 AM

    The only issue with scheduling the games after a bye week is that you don’t be able to have Thursday games between about weeks 4-12, otherwise people would complain that their bye was too early/late. This would in turn reduce the TV money so players would earn less – I wonder if they’d be okay with that…? I doubt it somehow.

  28. britishraven says: Jul 18, 2014 2:28 AM

    Is that you’d only be able^^^ damn autocorrect

  29. RegisHawk says: Jul 18, 2014 4:38 AM

    Part of the problem is that anything NFL-related makes money regardless, so whether it’s good for the players or not is lost behind big $$$.

    Next issue is the Friday/Saturday quandary. NFL knows where it gets its new fans – people following players from high school (Friday nights) and college (mainly Saturdays). This is why Thursdays were chosen in the first place – you don’t put on a product that competes with (and possibly kills) your source.

  30. gammynomnom says: Jul 18, 2014 6:05 AM

    I wonder if they complain about the long rest after the Thursday game…..

  31. gammynomnom says: Jul 18, 2014 6:07 AM

    Nobodt ever cried for Dallas, and even more so Detroit playing on Thanksgiving almost every year since that game started, so Boo frikkin Hoo Robert Griffin and the rest. Crybabies.

  32. burgandyandgold63 says: Jul 18, 2014 7:43 AM

    This won’t happen because of the NFL making too much money, but as a person that lives on the east coast, I hate all night games. For those of us that get up and go to work in the mornings half time of all those games are all we are going to watch. So if I was advertising something on TV, I’d want my product shown before halftime. All night games should start at 7:0opm eastern standard time like most baseball games on the east coast.

  33. uncletuna says: Jul 18, 2014 8:33 AM

    Soft.

    Can’t let the inmates run the asylum…

  34. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 18, 2014 8:52 AM

    Don’t let the poop sweepers tell you how many elephants should be in the parade.

  35. billh1947 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:03 AM

    “But then I remember that I live in the midwest where no one cares about high school football, and that is definitely not the case in other parts of the country.”
    Maybe you should do a little research before you post bullcrap like that.high school football may not play big to fans in your city or town but you town dont represent the entire midwest either,the fact is high school football is very big in the Midwest,maybe not as big as games in Texas where football is a religion but certainly bigger than you make it out to be.

  36. eaglesw00t says: Jul 18, 2014 9:27 AM

    I have a problem with the wording of his statement.

    Basically, good coaches dont practice, and bad coaches do practice.

    I call shenanigans. You cant prepare for a game completely in the film room.

    The coaches need Monday to prepare for the game. Tuesday is film and playbook for the week for the players. On Wednesday, you NEED to practice those plays on the field. You cant learn a gameplan in a chair. Football doesnt work that way. Maybe some of the vets can, but the young guys arent learning nearly half of what they need without seeing a field and a player opposing them.

    The problem is, if you practice Wednesday, your guys are tired Thursday. So I guess coaches need to preplan a lot, and lose the Monday coach planning, and move up so that players can rest on Wednesday.

    Thats a tough schedule, but you did choose to be a professional athlete at the same time. I really dont feel bad for you. Even the minimum wage for an NFL player is 5 times my salary.

  37. eaglesw00t says: Jul 18, 2014 9:30 AM

    burgandyandgold63 says:
    Jul 18, 2014 7:43 AM
    This won’t happen because of the NFL making too much money, but as a person that lives on the east coast, I hate all night games. For those of us that get up and go to work in the mornings half time of all those games are all we are going to watch. So if I was advertising something on TV, I’d want my product shown before halftime. All night games should start at 7:0opm eastern standard time like most baseball games on the east coast.

    —————–

    This. I need to be up at 5am. I cant be watching football at midnight on a Monday. Im getting to the age where I need 6 hours sleep or I cant function. When the Eagles play Monday nights, I am either so amped from a win, or so pissed about a loss, I dont get to sleep until 1. 4 hours sleep isnt cutting it for me. They need to move the times up. Sorry California.

  38. contract says: Jul 18, 2014 10:00 AM

    John Harbaugh must be a lousy coach, because Ray Lewis complained plenty about Thursday night games.

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