The NFL says it is “fully committed” to the continuation of a slate of Thursday night games despite complaints about the short turnaround for teams playing the previous Sunday, but it does appear that they are open to changing one of the more onerous scheduling possibilities.
NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent told the Associated Press that the league is looking at their scheduling procedures in hopes of avoiding having teams play on Sunday night before traveling to play on Thursday. The Redskins were in that position on Thanksgiving with the added fun of playing on Thursday afternoon in Dallas.
“That’s tough, and we’ll have to look at that,” Vincent said. “Ideally, that’s not something that we would like to have.”
Redskins coach Jay Gruden complained about the schedule for his team last week and called rethinking the approach to scheduling a “no-brainer.”
“The recovery time for these players after a physical football game needs to be more than what we got. And then you throw a plane ride in on top of it, it makes it pretty difficult,” Gruden said. “It can be done because we did it. But I think the schedule maker should really look at that and not put somebody in that predicament again.”
Vincent said the league would like to have teams playing in the early afternoon slot on Sunday before playing on Thursday whether they are on the road or not for the second game.