When player safety complaints about Thursday night games have been raised with the league in the past, the response has often pointed to data showing that the injury rate in those games is lower than on games played on Sundays or Mondays.
A study of the 2017 regular season found that there were slightly more injuries during this year’s Thursday slate of games
“We always work to make the game safer. We always look to see what we can do. Just to respond to the statistical aspect that you raised — out of the last five years where we’ve kept the sophisticated statistics that we have on injury data, only this year showed a slight uptick which was not even statistically significant. If you take it over any period of time over those five years the injury rate is lower. We do not think that is something to overreact to.”
Goodell said that he and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith have spoken about ways to address players’ concerns going into and coming out of the games. He also said that as much as players don’t like the short week, they do like the extended break leading into their next game.