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Duke Ihenacho is no fan of Thursday Night Football

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 2: Strong safety Duke Ihenacho #29 of the Washington Redskins looks on prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns at FedExField on October 2, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Getty Images

Whether anyone likes it or not, Thursday Night Football is here to stay.

Plenty of players don’t like it. Plenty do. One who doesn’t sounded off on Friday.

Appearing on Jim Rome’s radio show, Washington safety Duck Ihenacho made it clear that he’s not a fan of the once-per-year short-week game that every team plays.

“I just feel like Thursday night games are a drag, man,” Ihenacho told Rome. “Physically our body just needs time to get healthy. It’s already hard playing every Sunday, and then when you shorten that week by a couple a days it’s hard to get psychologically and physically ready to play that game. That’s why you see all Thursday night games — they’re not as good as the Sunday games or the Monday games. It’s a reason. It’s not a coincidence.”

It’s hard to say whether Thursday night games are any better or worse than other games. On every given Sunday, plenty of the games played in the 1:00 p.m. ET window are hardly memorable, and if any one of them were separated from the rest and made to be a focal point of national consumption, plenty would say, “Man, this stinks.”

Ihenacho believes that more of the games should be played on Sunday, in the cluster of afternoon contests.

“They’re trying to oversaturate football,” Ihenacho said. “They’re trying to push football down everyone’s throat and it put on Thursdays. I think it’s fine the way it is — just having it on Sunday and Monday.”

The NFL routinely points to the injury rates during Thursday night games, pointing out that there is no greater risk when playing on three days’ rest. But playing a pair of games four days apart can take a toll unrelated to ay specific injury that keeps a player from performing.

“I feel like not moving,” Ihenacho said regarding the Friday morning after a short-week game. “I don’t want to get out bed. Every step hurts. Every muscle hurts. Your fingers hurt. Your thighs. You don’t want to do nothing. Guys want to be tough guys. We’re all men in the NFL — nobody wants to be the guy that can’t take it but it’s harder for guys. I would like to just see us play on Sundays.”

Again, for every player who doesn’t like Thursday Night Football, there’s one who’ll say that the shorter and easier work week before the game and the mini-bye afterward makes it worth the extra effort. Regardless, the players have agreed to play on Thursday nights through 2020, and it’s highly unlikely that Thursday Night Football will be going away any time soon, if ever.

Even if it ever would disappear (and it won’t), the short-week Thursday games played on Thanksgiving will never be abandoned. This year, Washington’s lone short-week game comes on Thanksgiving.

So even if there was no Thursday Night Football, Ihenacho would still be playing two games only four days apart later this year.

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38 Responses to “Duke Ihenacho is no fan of Thursday Night Football”
  1. haywoodjablomey says: Oct 14, 2016 6:08 PM

    America agrees with you, Duke!

  2. imcornholious says: Oct 14, 2016 6:12 PM

    Redskins….

  3. thermanmerman99 says: Oct 14, 2016 6:17 PM

    Awww poor little millionaire has it so tough.

  4. zerotrophiessince1961 says: Oct 14, 2016 6:20 PM

    Along with stripping the commish of his “disciplinary” powers, the NFLPA should bargain for TNF going the way of the dodo in 2020.

  5. richc111 says: Oct 14, 2016 6:23 PM

    Take a pay cut the corresponds the amount of revenue generated that the players get. Simple.

  6. lezziemcdykerson says: Oct 14, 2016 6:24 PM

    He’s right about the TNF games being trash though. Maybe a few of the Sunday games aren’t memorable but I can’t really remember any of the TNF games being a quality game. Blowout or the players just look flat.

  7. jag1959 says: Oct 14, 2016 6:27 PM

    Outside of the owners no one is.

  8. stoptellingmeaboutyourfantasyteam says: Oct 14, 2016 6:28 PM

    Coincidentally, I am no fan of Duke Ihenacho. “Headline: Random Player Complains About Element of Collectively Bargained Agreement”. Next.

  9. realfootballfan says: Oct 14, 2016 6:48 PM

    Coaches should agree to play their backups against each other so that the league scraps this. It’s getting ridiculous with how poor the play is and they keep shoveling these games out.

  10. mackcarrington says: Oct 14, 2016 6:48 PM

    thermanmerman99 says:
    Oct 14, 2016 6:17 PM
    Awww poor little millionaire has it so tough.
    ————-
    These kinds of comments are the dumbest. Do you think this guy sends his butler out to play the game for him? You act like this guy is “Ritchie Rich The Poor Little Rich Boy”. I don’t know if Ihenacho is even a millionaire, but if you have that much resentment over the money he makes , you’re welcome to not watch football.

  11. dtroxallday says: Oct 14, 2016 7:12 PM

    @mattcarrington
    We’re NOT watching. That’s exactly the point of the story.

  12. mackcarrington says: Oct 14, 2016 7:31 PM

    @dtroxallday:
    ———
    But are you not watching because of the quality of play or because you think some rich guy is whining?

  13. orangeraider says: Oct 14, 2016 8:07 PM

    Thursday night games are generally poor to watch
    I usually watch hockey or a movie

  14. hang3xc says: Oct 14, 2016 8:09 PM

    “They’re trying to oversaturate football,” Ihenacho said. “They’re trying to push football down everyone’s throat…”

    Exactly.

  15. realfann says: Oct 14, 2016 8:09 PM

    Giants vs Packers. One team on 8 days rest playing at home, the other on 4 playing away. Yup that’s fair.

    Sure it’s the same for other teams.

    Like the second game of both this season and last, the Niners on 4 days rest had to travel to the east coast to a team on 8 days rest playing at home.

    So what the heck happened to parity and fairness???

    That’s the problem with Thursday games, the league seems incapable of scheduling them to avoid a huge disadvantage to one of the teams.

  16. touchdownelvis says: Oct 14, 2016 8:18 PM

    “Washington safety Duck Ihenacho…”

    Quack quack.

  17. maust1013 says: Oct 14, 2016 8:22 PM

    thermanmerman99 says:
    Oct 14, 2016 6:17 PM
    Awww poor little millionaire has it so tough.
    ==================

    And you have been enjoying the quality of the Thursday night match ups?
    BTW, Ihenacho is pretty much a min contract guy, he may make good money compared to your job at Walmart but he has never had a million dollar year. It’s not like we are talking about Revis here

  18. profootball13 says: Oct 14, 2016 9:00 PM

    Washington safety Duck Ihenacho…..Duck……huh…

  19. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 14, 2016 9:12 PM

    Awful games with a horrible level of play. They are the worst part of the nfl product line

    I dont watch them

  20. gofor2with3pointlead says: Oct 14, 2016 9:21 PM

    imcornholious, although unlikely this request is necessary. Please refrain from contaminating the gene pool.

  21. pastabelly says: Oct 14, 2016 9:23 PM

    The low quality of play in those Thursday night games is reason enough to know that there is something pretty wrong about playing football on three days rest. If they want to play these games, they should all include teams coming off of bye weeks. While that might limit the number of game, nobody would be playing on three nights rest.

  22. fluiddarkness says: Oct 14, 2016 9:44 PM

    Just move Thursday nights to Saturday night/day. Most NFL fans like me don’t care about the NCAA anyway.

  23. gofor2with3pointlead says: Oct 14, 2016 10:12 PM

    It sure would be nice if every knee-jerk jukebox with with a keyboard didn’t have an Internet connection.

  24. skinsprinting says: Oct 14, 2016 10:21 PM

    The Redskins play home Sunday NIGHT Nov 20th vs Green Bay then TRAVEL to Dallas to play Thursday Nov 24th.

    The team will have exactly 92 hours between kickoff of the two games !!!

    How can that make for good football ?

    Much importantly how can that fast of a turnaround be SAFE for the players ?

  25. somethinsbruin says: Oct 14, 2016 10:24 PM

    I would much rather a Sunday morning game than TNF

  26. akboot says: Oct 14, 2016 10:24 PM

    I find it kind of odd how many players refer to themselves as grown men. It’s either ” I’m a grown man…”, or like this clown, “we’re grown men playing. I have never in my life had to tell anyone that I’m a grown man. Football players say it all the time. Funny how they feel the need to say that. I think I know why.

  27. janvanflac says: Oct 14, 2016 11:38 PM

    There does NOT need to be football on from 11 hours on Sunday, then on Monday and Thursday. And the NFL wonders why ratings are down?

    And yes it’s crazy to play 2 full games on 4 days rest. Anyone who actually played football knows this.

  28. spcoltrane says: Oct 14, 2016 11:43 PM

    Ihenacho told Rome. “Physically our body just needs time to get healthy. It’s already hard playing every Sunday, and then when you shorten that week by a couple a days it’s hard to get psychologically and physically ready to play that game. ”
    The rash of players filling the injury reports and the IR lists demonstrates the toll the game takes on these guys. Four days off just isn’t enough time to recuperate from a game.”

    Accepting the league is not going to move back to Sunday and Monday games, there’s a simple solution: Teams play their Thursday night game after their bye week. They play on Sunday, get 11 days off, then play on the next Thursday, then play 10 days later on the next Sunday.

    It’s not two weeks off with they bye, like they’re used to, but if Thursday night football is here to stay, it’s one way to address the recovery problem. It would take some coordination of schedules, but this is scheduling football games, not quantum physics.

  29. txmidnite says: Oct 15, 2016 1:01 AM

    The premise for Thursday Night Football was built on greed. The NFL sold television rights, then flagrantly competed against it with it’s very own Network. The end game is to totally control NFL games and have ALL the commercial television revenue. Fortunately, it is failing miserably. Cease and desist the TNF. It’s generally unfair to one – and sometimes both – teams playing.

  30. bspurloc says: Oct 15, 2016 1:09 AM

    .
    thursday games only existed as a money grab.

    the NFL sold the time to network TV now its here to stay….
    thursday games need to just go away. its MONDAY and SUNDAY.

  31. saltineamerican says: Oct 15, 2016 1:57 AM

    You gotta love the “BLM” mouth guard.

    Suck it up, buttercup, you were fully aware there were Thursday night games when you got into the league, yet it didn’t dissuade you from becoming an NFL player.

  32. xcflqb7 says: Oct 15, 2016 5:58 AM

    Crappy games played in obnoxious pajama- “uniforms” enough already – TNF is overkill – kill it

  33. dritchie84 says: Oct 15, 2016 9:20 AM

    I love Duck on Thanksgiving!

  34. polsem88 says: Oct 15, 2016 9:37 AM

    Fridays = high school
    Saturdays = college
    Sundays = Pro

    The way it should be….

  35. bigdawgdaddy says: Oct 15, 2016 9:39 AM

    But he loves those paychecks though

  36. polapea says: Oct 15, 2016 10:14 AM

    These games are always going to be of lower quality than Sun games since teams don’t have enough time to install opponent specific game plans. The majority of the time teams rely on base offense / defense. Now add in the fact most guys don’t feel right until Wed after a Sun game and it becomes obvious why these games are such crap.

  37. thermanmerman99 says: Oct 15, 2016 11:01 AM

    LOL at the thumbs down I got. This crybaby plays ONE Thursday night game a YEAR! It’s not like this wuss is playing every freaking Thursday and even if he did, this clown wouldn’t turn down the paycheck anyway. This moron wouldn’t last a week doing a 40 hour 9-5 work week let alone 40 years like his fanbase

  38. akira1971 says: Oct 15, 2016 11:46 AM

    New England Patriots are 5-1 on Thursday night games (only loss was in OT). Seems the smart coaches know how to get their teams ready and prepared on a short week.

    And I don’t see Ihenacho complaining about the higher player salaries from the Thursday night TV revenues or the additional national spotlight these players get all to themselves (ie not lost in a bunch of Sunday game highlights.)

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