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.

45 responses to “NFL may use bigger active rosters for Thursday games

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

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

    play ball !

  12. 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 $.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!!!!!!!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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…

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.