Arian Foster: Thursday night games put every player in danger

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Back in July, Texans running back Arian Foster spent an entire interview saying that he was “trying to be the best teammate” he could be.

Foster was more expansive in a meeting with the media on Monday and referred to those teammates and others around the league while discussing his negative opinion of Thursday night games. Foster, who will face the Colts this Thursday, said he doesn’t know a player or fan that likes the games, which he correctly pointed out are a way for the league to generate more revenue. Foster also said that he felt that desire to generate revenue came at the expense of the league’s stance on player safety.

“They emphasize concussions when they start getting hit with lawsuits and they care about the players’ safety but Thursday Night Football is putting every player on the football field in danger,” Foster said, via the Houston Chronicle.

Foster was then asked if he believed that the NFLPA should work with the league to address those concerns, which have been aired by other players since the adoption of Thursday games in recent years. Foster replied that the “union and the league is kind of the same thing” when it comes to this issue, which is a bit different than we’ve heard from those other players.

No matter Foster’s complaints (or those about the quality of the games, for that matter), the games aren’t going anywhere because of that revenue mentioned above. That’s all the more reason why there should be some discussion about expanded rosters or scheduling of bye weeks heading into Thursday nights to alleviate some of the health concerns.

70 responses to “Arian Foster: Thursday night games put every player in danger

  1. I don’t see why they cant at least explore the option of moving Thursday night football to Friday night football, having only 3 days of rest and preparation is absurd.

  2. Foster, who will face the Colts this Thursday, said he doesn’t know a player or fan that likes the games

    ——————————————————-

    I happen to love Thursday Night Football

  3. Completely agree. Foster is smart Thursday night football is stupid.

    Thursday night football proves without a doubt that the owners don’t really care about the players (playing NFL games with 3 days off in between is ridiculous) or the hard core football fans (the Thursday night games are just debacles)…… They only care about revenue and drawing in some casual fans with a prime time game during the week.

  4. Giant money grab without any thought of the players or the fans that actually go to the games. So by NFL standards, its a great idea that’s here to stay.

  5. I might just not be getting the bigger picture here , but how is a player more in danger on a Thursday than on a Sunday ?
    Do the rules of the game change ? Are more fouls allowed or less flags being thrown ? You get paid millions Arian , stop complaining about having to play 1 or 2 earlier games a year

  6. The NFL doesn’t care about player safety, only the illusion that they care. At the very least, the NFL could: Give team x a bye the weekend before they are scheduled to play a thursday night game.

  7. Maybe it’s just me, but Foster is always complaining about something. Boo hoo… Go live life in middle class and see how you feel. If you can fit in your acting career, you can play on Thursday’s.

  8. Even though I tend to agree with him I find it hard to have sympathy with a cry baby playing a game and making millions doing it. Whats next, I need this week off because I’m flowing ?

  9. Thursday night games have got to go.

    They’re blowouts for a reason.

    I’m 39, and I can still feel a tough without from Sunday Thursday morning.

  10. Any one who has played football above the pee-wee level can tell you that it takes more than three days for the cuts, bruises, aches and pains to clear up. At the NFL level, the effort expended in a game probably takes 5-6 days to replenish. Even the monday to sunday games are of lower quality than the sunday-sunday span, generally speaking.
    I would like to see a comparison of of the competitiveness of all the games played after one team has a short week

  11. If the league had any evidence that TNF is unsafe for players, it would be canceled immediately. The problem is getting the evidence to Park Avenue.

  12. I thought the only solution was to get rid of it? Now you are telling me that there could be other creative or easy-to-implement rule changes to address player-safety concerns? Wow.

  13. Every team that plays Thursday night football should do so AFTER their bye week. Would solve SO many problems with that particular game.

    Players have a week and a half to recover from previous game and week and a half to recover from that game.

  14. buccaneerbeezy says:
    Oct 6, 2014 3:32 PM
    I might just not be getting the bigger picture here , but how is a player more in danger on a Thursday than on a Sunday ?
    Do the rules of the game change ? Are more fouls allowed or less flags being thrown ? You get paid millions Arian , stop complaining about having to play 1 or 2 earlier games a year

    ————————————————————

    That’s right you aren’t getting the big picture. Think a little harder next time.

  15. absolutely right.. TNF not only have they been terrible for the last two years..dont allow players the time to heal up and prob is why they are so terrible.

    move it to saturday the only thursday games needed are to open the season and thanksgiving day.

  16. “I don’t see why they cant at least explore the option of moving Thursday night football to Friday night football”

    How do so many people not know that the NFL is not allowed to play on College Football game days? This is Football 101 people.

  17. Thursday night = more revenue.
    More revenue = bigger salary cap.
    Bigger cap = more money for players.

    Are the players willing to collectively take a pay cut to skip out on their one Thursday night game per year?

  18. Why don’t the NFL start playing Tuesday night games also? Only teams that played the early Sunday 1:00 games could play on Tuesday night.

    That greedy enough for them?

  19. Bad for player health.

    Horrendous quality of product especially early in the season when for rookies and players new to a team/system, having 2-3 days of walkthroughs and no real practices does not give them enough time to be properly prepared.

  20. He may be correct, but as a fantasy football player, gambler, and just general fan, I love, love, love Thursday night games. I really don’t care what the players think. I don’t like occasionally working Saturdays, but sometimes I do. For most players this is maybe a once a year thing. Pros and cons of every thing…..it’s called life.

    As far as moving games to Friday, that makes no sense. The Friday night TV audience is much smaller than Thursday night, making it less attractive to advertisers. We’ve established this is a money grab, so it makes no sense to move to Friday.

  21. Friday night – High school football
    Saturday – College football
    Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Pro football
    Tue, Wed, Arrest

  22. tavisteelersfan says: Oct 6, 2014 3:49 PM

    Why not make the teams that have a Bye play the Thursday Night Game?
    _________________________________

    This one is easy, b/c there are no bye weeks on week 1, 2, 3, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and there is Thursday night football.

  23. If Goodell fines Foster for these comments, it will only confirm the fact that Goodell knows Foster is right.

    If the NFL can’t schedule these games after the bye weeks for the teams playing in them, then the games need to be canned.

    If the NFL had any guts, they’d schedule these games for Saturday night instead of Thursday night. College Football ratings don’t suffer on Saturday night. Must be that Goodell is afraid of the competition.

  24. This is going to be an unpopular opinion but until we see more injuries its a moot point and all talk. I love having football on Thursdays and there is no way I’m going to feel sorry for the players. I know guys that work just as hard doing jobs just as dangerous 40+ hours a week and they don’t even scratch out 6 figures a year. These spoiled altheletes make millions, suck it up and move on. AF makes more per game than most make per year. Stop crying.

    And as far as competition goes, both teams are at the same disadvantage….why does everyone assume these games wouldn’t end up the same on Sunday?

  25. ken0west says:

    How do so many people not know that the NFL is not allowed to play on College Football game days? This is Football 101 people.

    =========================================
    I take it you were not aware of the fact that the (former) #2 team in college football was playing on Thursday night, at the same time the NFL blowout was being played.

  26. I’m sure the NFL would love to play games on Friday and Saturday Nights like many have suggested. But the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 prevents the NFL from boadcasting games on Friday or Saturday in markets where there are high school or college games being played.

  27. @morty999

    I was going to say the same thing about moving the games to Friday. I think historically the Thursday night TV audience is the biggest of the week, and Friday’s is the worst. That’s why in the past shows with huge ratings like ER and Seinfeld were on Thursdays. Crap like that show with Urkel was saved for Fridays. Of course with this football season’s Thursday night results a lot of people may rather watch reruns of Full House or something.

  28. @fwippel

    The Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 does not classify Thursday as a protected day. It does however specify Friday and Saturday. Again this is basic stuff.

  29. The league doesn’t care players barely crack the top 5 groups who the NFL cares about and the fans are outside looking in. The owners, the league itself, the networks and the corporate sponsors/partners all will have their needs met before the league looks at what the players or fans want.

  30. Even though Arian is not my favorite football player due to his silly end zone celebrations, he does not a legit beef with the No Fun League. The league only uses the players and fans as their pawns to make money. Funny thing is that I never hear people say there are many football games on the telly on the weekend.

  31. Does Foster actually think the NFL cares about player health over their revenues? Nice try but that will not make Thursday games go away.

    You will have to convince the NFL that it will hurt their revenues and that will not be an easy case to make.

  32. Is it really so complicated to bye week for Thursday game match ups? Play Sunday, bye week, Thursday game…sit down with the union, this has always been no-brainer!

    Minnesota and GB forced to play on 3 day rest while the Monday matchup is Seattle coming off 15 day lay off and Skins off 11 days–something wrong with this picture?

  33. Just give everyone two bye weeks and schedule the thursday night game after one of the team’s bye week, Roger.

  34. I think Thursday night games are good because it keeps a large number of players off the street making the streets safe that night in two nfl cities.

  35. He’s absolutely right. This is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Players need a FULL week to heal their bodies. That’s why there are only 16 games. And people wonder why the quality of these games is so poor? Not hard to figure out

  36. It may sound right, but is there any actual evidence that it is any less safe to have the Thursday night games? Have there been a disproportionate amount of injuries?

  37. Two things:
    1. I can’t believe there are people that don’t like Thursday Night Football. I wish they played Pro football all 7 days per week.

    2. Arian Foster needs to Just Shut Up. First, is rarely healthy. Second, he only speaks negatively… on EVERYTHING. He comes off as a whiner.

  38. I think the popularity of fantasy football has made the NFL unstoppable b/c no one seems to care that the product on the field has been terrible on Thursday night.

  39. The irony is that the injury rate is higher on Sundays.

    Steve Mariucci told Mike Francesa this and this can’t be surprising. if someone wants to question this they should look at thanksgiving game days vs. sunday games injury ratess.

  40. Yeah? I wish I could actually do my job once a week and collect $400k and doing it twice and raking in another $400k, I’m on board. Despite what he believes in his heart, football practice and team meetings is not work. Last year his team failed at their job 14 out of 16 times and still remained employed. Not to mention he only played in 8 games and carried 121 times. Remarkable leeway there. So, if your team is unable to do their jobs at the most, twice in 7 seven days…roughly 6 hours out of the week, which in football can be broken down according to offensive and defensive plays and opportunities given to individual players. These guys actually do less “work” for the amount of cash they make. I’d probably get booted from the service for being lazy and a drain on taxpayer dollars working like that. Suck it up bro.

  41. No Thursday night games in week 2, 3, or 4. After that, only teams that have a bye the previous week can play on Thursday night. You could have some good division games with each team having 10-11 days rest.

  42. pete2112 says:
    Oct 6, 2014 3:39 PM
    Maybe it’s just me, but Foster is always complaining about something. Boo hoo… Go live life in middle class and see how you feel. If you can fit in your acting career, you can play on Thursday’s.
    ———————————————————————–

    Pete…It’s not just you. I was thinking the same thing. He is always whining about something.

  43. I have to agree with the players on this one. Make it a Friday game…. Thursday night games should not be… Not enough time to rest and plan for the next opponent. Players always play weird games on Thursdays. Not good… Greed and money tell another story……

  44. The entire scheduling system needs to be fixed. This week the Chargers play the Raiders who are coming off a bye, then next week they play at KC who will be coming off a bye, after that its a short week (Thursday game), they play the Broncos.

  45. I agree with him you need time to heal you need a week to get back your playing strength. Thursday night games should be moved to Saturday night games I bet you the league will even make more revenue and better ratings and the players will have six days to get back to playing shape

  46. “I don’t see why they cant at least explore the option of moving Thursday night football to Friday night football”
    ——————

    Odds are they probably have. Friday night football likely wouldn’t be nearly as profitable as Thursday night for them.

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