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J.J. Watt: Thursday night games are “very difficult”

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 18:  J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans celebrates a play in the second quarter of their game against the Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

With the NFL playing Thursday night games throughout the season, every team draws the assignment once per year of playing on a Sunday and then playing on a Thursday. And while the NFL likes to point out that the injury rate for short-week games is no worse than the injury rate for Sunday or Monday games, the league constantly glosses over the fact that players who emerge from Sunday’s game with an injury or simply general bumps and bruises have a very limited opportunity to turn it around before the next game.

“It’s very difficult,” Texans defensive end J.J. Watt told reporters on Tuesday. “No doubt about it. For every player. Thursday nights are very tough for us because it is a short turnaround. It’s a very violent game and bodies take a beating, so you want to make sure you do everything you can to get your body back. It’s just something you have to do. Every teams got to do one a year. We’re doing ours early. Hopefully that helps us.”

Watt is impressed with his teammates’ efforts to prepare for a big game on a short week.

“Our guys are doing a great job,” Watt said. “I think everybody’s taking some of the advice that we’ve been given on how to handle it. I think everybody’s doing a good job of taking care of their bodies, getting extra sleep, getting extra treatments, cold tubs, everything. I think our guys are doing a great job in taking it very seriously because we know that we have a great challenge ahead and we look forward to it and everybody wants to be at our best. I think our guys honestly have handled it really well.”

For Watt, playing on Thursday after playing on Sunday presents an extra challenge, given his late-offseason back surgery.

“I’m doing everything that I can to make sure that I’m ready for Thursday night,” Watt said. “Last game definitely knocked some of that extra rust off from the first week and felt a lot better on Sunday. So hopefully on Thursday I knock some more off and feel better. It’s just a continuous process of making sure that I’m very, very smart with my body because of everything it’s been through. Obviously I hope to be at 100 percent at some point. I mean I can’t say for sure. I want to go out there and play the best that I can play.”

He played well on Sunday against the Chiefs, with 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. The Texans will need all players to play well if they hope to show that they can get past a Patriots team that has won six of seven games against the Texans since Houston entered the league in 2002.

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45 Responses to “J.J. Watt: Thursday night games are “very difficult””
  1. Mo Pro Babble says: Sep 21, 2016 10:02 AM

    I’m all for ending TNF.

  2. tformation says: Sep 21, 2016 10:02 AM

    They suck for fantasy players too. I’d be pretty happy if they just scratched all of the Thursday games (with the exception of Thanksgiving).

  3. TheAfterParty says: Sep 21, 2016 10:07 AM

    Would it be possible for teams to have Thursday games coming off a bye week?

  4. bullcharger says: Sep 21, 2016 10:07 AM

    I certainly respect JJ Watt’s playing ability, and he deserves all the accolades, but something about his media persona comes across as phony to me. He says all the right things to make him seem like a humble, hardworking guy, but at the same time he seems to enjoy the spotlight a bit too much. It never feels like he cares as much about wins as he does about how he looks personally.

  5. jag1959 says: Sep 21, 2016 10:09 AM

    If it’s any consolation they are also usually difficult to watch too.

  6. campcouch says: Sep 21, 2016 10:09 AM

    Bruh, you signed a $100 million contract, $10 mil as a signing bonus…money for just putting pen to paper and another $51 million guaranteed. Don’t want to hear about difficulties because you gotta work twice in a week.

  7. rcali says: Sep 21, 2016 10:10 AM

    Every day is difficult for us,
    Signed,
    Mine Workers & Soldiers in the Middle East

  8. funshipm174 says: Sep 21, 2016 10:15 AM

    They would still have to play on Sunday after the Thursday game.

    ________________________________________

    __TheAfterParty says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:07 AM
    Would it be possible for teams to have Thursday games coming off a bye week?

    0 0
    Report comment______________________________________

  9. dwarftosser says: Sep 21, 2016 10:16 AM

    It’s more difficult for us. At least he doesn’t have to watch Phil Simms twice a week…

  10. jetsfan136 says: Sep 21, 2016 10:19 AM

    Fitzy just won AFC offensive player of the week for his performance last Thursday. Quit ya whining.

  11. kowboydmac says: Sep 21, 2016 10:20 AM

    Makes more sense to incorporate tnf games with bye weeks.

    Every team gets a bye, every team gets a tnf game.

  12. thegronk87 says: Sep 21, 2016 10:27 AM

    Thursday games are really stupid – it’s bad for the players who can’t recover quickly enough and it’s bad for the fans since the on-field product is so poor.

  13. 52crabcakes says: Sep 21, 2016 10:28 AM

    The NFL does not care about players or fans! When are people going to realize this?

  14. maiphatdong says: Sep 21, 2016 10:33 AM

    ohhhhh its sooo HARD to play football for millions, boo hoooooo

  15. jag1959 says: Sep 21, 2016 10:38 AM

    kowboydmac says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:20 AM
    Makes more sense to incorporate tnf games with bye weeks.

    Every team gets a bye, every team gets a tnf game.
    __________________

    Bye weeks start in week 4, there are a total of 9 of them.

  16. firecracker87 says: Sep 21, 2016 10:42 AM

    Tell you what Watt – you can sit out and let me stand in for you. I’ll be happy to take a few hits and get your pay.

  17. jchipwood says: Sep 21, 2016 10:43 AM

    Shocker. The patriots have to play another AFC playoff opponent in Foxboro for a night game.

  18. darthobama says: Sep 21, 2016 10:44 AM

    Can’t do Thursday games after a bye week because there are only 12 by week’s. To make it fair and give every body a Thursday night game it takes 16 weeks…

  19. I_Just_Like_Typing_Comments_That_Wont_Get_Published says: Sep 21, 2016 10:46 AM

    funshipm174 says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:15 AM

    They would still have to play on Sunday after the Thursday game.

    ________________________________________

    __TheAfterParty says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:07 AM
    Would it be possible for teams to have Thursday games coming off a bye week?
    ======================

    I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying teams play on Sun, then play 4 days later (on Thursday), and then play 3 days later (on Sun)????? After they play the Thursday game they have 10 days off…

  20. piratefreedom says: Sep 21, 2016 10:46 AM

    jag1959 says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:38 AM

    kowboydmac says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:20 AM
    Makes more sense to incorporate tnf games with bye weeks.

    Every team gets a bye, every team gets a tnf game.
    __________________

    Bye weeks start in week 4, there are a total of 9 of them.

    —————————————

    9 TNF games would be plenty for me and then they would be extra preparation and recovery games instead of short turn around compromised efforts

    they might even be good football that way

  21. imodan says: Sep 21, 2016 10:48 AM

    funshipm174 says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:15 AM
    They would still have to play on Sunday after the Thursday game.
    ——————————————————————-
    Thursday games are the first game of the week. They wouldn’t play again until 10 days later. The bye before the Thursday game makes the most sense. Well actually doing away with them actually makes the most sense but let’s be real, common sense left the barn when Tagliabue left.

  22. uglydingo says: Sep 21, 2016 10:49 AM

    When the Patriots beat the Texans with only a 3rd string rookie QB, everyone will see the superiority of Bill Belichick as a coach. Though the odds are stacked against us, get ready for one of the greatest coaching performances of all time. Bill Belichick is the GOAT.

  23. sterling7 says: Sep 21, 2016 10:49 AM

    NFL football belongs on Sunday’s only, I hate Thursday games and I do boycott them even when my favorite team plays on Thursday night. While you’re at it put the NFL/College draft back on the weekends. Goodell is overexposing the NFL-remember always leave them wanting more !

  24. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 21, 2016 11:01 AM

    Some of these comments are so off base.

    #1… these guys don’t work just once a week. I’m not going to compare it to a real job because its a game and they get paid millions of dollars. But they work FAR more than once a week.

    #2… How does this come across as ‘whining’? He was asked a question and he answered it. On a normal week the players get 6 full days of rest and preparation for the next game. On a TNF week, they only get 3 full days. That, by definition, is harder. He didn’t say it wasn’t fair, he didn’t say he didn’t want to do it, or that it was some sort of injustice. He just said it was harder than a normal week. Which it is.

  25. bspurloc says: Sep 21, 2016 11:04 AM

    .
    Sorry JJ etc the NFL forced this with intent to make money and now sell Thursday to networks that are actually on TV so fans can once again watch the games.

    What next? complaining about London games being too early in the morning for Fans to watch them?
    Shhhh NFL puts fans first. NOT

  26. FoozieGrooler says: Sep 21, 2016 11:06 AM

    Wouldn’t a Saturday night game make more sense than a Thursday nighter?

  27. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Sep 21, 2016 11:14 AM

    FoozieGrooler says:
    Sep 21, 2016 11:06 AM

    Wouldn’t a Saturday night game make more sense than a Thursday nighter?
    —————————–

    Wouldn’t want to upset the farm system…er…the NCAA

  28. bubbahotepp says: Sep 21, 2016 11:19 AM

    Just one more reason to hate owners, but as Jimmy Johnson once said when asked about Thursday night games — ‘They’re highly conditioned young men making tons of money. They’ll be ready.’ Of course, he didn’t have to go out there….

  29. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Sep 21, 2016 11:23 AM

    Belichick is becoming Nick Saban of the NFL. Start anyone at QB and still win the championship. The Texans will have their hands full Thursday night.

  30. chippysbinky says: Sep 21, 2016 11:25 AM

    jchipwood says:
    Sep 21, 2016 10:43 AM
    Shocker. The patriots have to play another AFC playoff opponent in Foxboro for a night game.
    ++++++++++++

    Your obsession speaks volumes and all of them sad.
    Per the schedule making rules the AFCS champion had to play the AFCE champion on their home field. Are you really suggesting the NFL did the Pats a solid by scheduling them to play a playoff team on a short week without Brady? We know making nonsensical Pats hating comments is your shtick but pointing this one out actually works against your argument.

  31. jv86 says: Sep 21, 2016 11:29 AM

    Thursday night games are just bad all the way around… especially if you are season ticket holder! I love going, but not on a Thursday night! I know, I know, too much greed to get rid of TNF!

  32. mrp363839 says: Sep 21, 2016 11:31 AM

    FoozieGrooler says:
    Sep 21, 2016 11:06 AM

    Wouldn’t a Saturday night game make more sense than a Thursday nighter?
    ————————-

    College football owns Sat night. Also, NFL players and personnel all have deep rooting interests every Sat, so they probably enjoy having light-work Saturdays.

  33. sb44champs says: Sep 21, 2016 11:32 AM

    J.J. Watt: Thursday night games are “very difficult”

    NFL: Who cares if players are sore and more likely to get hurt as long as we’re getting P.A.I.D.

  34. maestro1899 says: Sep 21, 2016 11:41 AM

    I’ve said it a million times already…bring back the second bye week.

    One bye week is a normal bye, the other precedes each team’s TNF game. Then, TNF teams would have 10 days off before and 11 after to recover, gaemplan, get over injuries, etc.

    The TNF game could be a featured game between two good teams who are healthy and fresh.

    And it extends the regular season by one week, which makes everyone happy. Networks get one more week of games to sell advertising for, players get an extra week to recover from injuries or bumps-n-bruises, the NFL regular season stays in the news for an extra week, and us hardcore fans that love football get an extra week of games (18 weeks instead of 17).

  35. mmack66 says: Sep 21, 2016 11:48 AM

    FoozieGrooler says:
    Sep 21, 2016 11:06 AM

    Wouldn’t a Saturday night game make more sense than a Thursday nighter?
    ———————–

    Neither one makes sense.

    Besides, the NFL isn’t going to infringe on college games.

  36. guadalahonky says: Sep 21, 2016 11:50 AM

    Get rid of Thursday Night Football.

    Listen, TV ratings are down and this saturation of more games in an already crowded marketplace is not helping.

    Add to that the players and coaches don’t want it, and it makes the Monday Night and Sunday Night prime time games, less special.

  37. dickroy says: Sep 21, 2016 11:53 AM

    As much as I love football, ending Thursday night games would not bother me at all. Sundays, Sunday nights, and Mondays nights is enough.

  38. exinsidetrader says: Sep 21, 2016 12:02 PM

    NFL Stupidity: If you must have Thursday games, only have them for teams coming off a bye-week.

    If so, players get the same amount of rest before and after them without a very short week to heal.

  39. gohavefunloser says: Sep 21, 2016 12:07 PM

    Haven’t heard a player, team, coach, media; not one person seems to like TNF. With the amount of injuries, and lack of willingness to participate in the game the NFL should just drop Thursday night.

    But with the amount of revenue it produces its not going any where, any time soon.

  40. grumpysal says: Sep 21, 2016 12:08 PM

    What JJ is really saying is that a Thurs night game doesn’t give him enough time to get to BabyGap and purchase his XS shirt that he’ll show off in his selfie that week.

  41. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 21, 2016 12:44 PM

    The second bye week makes a ton of sense. You stick with a 16 game schedule but add an additional week of football to sell to the networks.

    NFL is happy that they make more money.

    Players are happy to have an additional bye week.

    Makes too much sense….

  42. bobthebillsfan says: Sep 21, 2016 2:22 PM

    I cut cable so I do not watch Monday night games. I am busy on weekends with family activities, so the only games I watch are Sunday night and Thursday night. I never have anything going on Thursday nights, so I am glad football is on then.

  43. bobthebillsfan says: Sep 21, 2016 2:23 PM

    I meant to add this – Goodell is not forcing you to watch TNF. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  44. bluenose1965 says: Sep 21, 2016 2:38 PM

    More JJ Watt hate.

    Could it be that he’s voicing the same opinion 1700 other players in the league have? Including players on your team, hater.

  45. gromit45 says: Sep 21, 2016 2:54 PM

    We’re all about player safety.
    unless we’re not.

    Signed,
    The NFL

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