Christian McCaffrey: I don’t prefer Thursday night games

NFL: SEP 23 Panthers at Texans
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Christian McCaffrey returned to practice on Wednesday and now it appears Carolina’s star running back has a decent shot at returning to game action this week.

After missing Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys, McCaffrey (hamstring) has been listed as limited for the first two practices in Week Five. Speaking to the media after Thursday’s session, McCaffrey said he “definitely” has a chance to play in Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles.

But McCaffrey, who played only three games due to injury in 2020, also noted that he felt like playing on a Thursday was a significant reason why he suffered the injury in the first place.

“It was extremely frustrating,” McCaffrey said in his press conference. “I don’t prefer Thursday night games. You go through a lot in a football game. And you really get two days to recover and one of those days is a travel day. So you get two days to recover, you hop on a plane, you get in a hotel, and then you go out and play in a football game. It’s really tough. But it is what it is. It’s part of the game. And, obviously, frustrating.”

McCaffrey injured his hamstring in the second quarter of the Week Three Thursday matchup against Houston. McCaffrey took a 2-yard run out of bounds to the left and was clearly hobbled as he finished the play.

McCaffrey added he “definitely” thought playing on Thursday was a factor, given the limited amount of rest and recovery time. But McCaffrey didn’t think the hamstring injury was from overuse.

“I’d just say it is what it is,” McCaffrey said. “Injuries happen to guys that are used a lot and a little. It is what it is. It happened, so [I’m] moving on.”

Thursday games aren’t going away anytime soon. But McCaffrey was asked directly about how he feels about them, and gave a clear answer.

“If you’re going to ask me, I would definitely say — I think I’m not alone in this — but I’d probably argue against them,” McCaffrey said. “I understand though, it’s part of the game. I can sit up here and complain — I’m not complaining, that’s for sure. It is frustrating sometimes when you feel like something could’ve been avoided with a little more rest, you know? But I’m sure if I got through that game 100 percent, I wouldn’t be saying anything about it. So that’s just me and my personal views.”

McCaffrey 364 yards from scrimmage — 201 rushing, 163 receiving — and a rushing touchdown so far in 2021.

36 responses to “Christian McCaffrey: I don’t prefer Thursday night games

  1. Player safety is always the most important aspect to any change unless it impacts the amount of money made. Thursday night football brings in too much revenue for the league to get rid of it.

  2. Sounds like a conversation he should be having with his employer. There are numerous ways for a skill position player to mitigate over-use. Just based on snap counts (compared for instance to Alvin Kamara) it seems like the Panthers were careless with McCaffrey’s usage.

  3. He’s right, three days isn’t enough time to recover and puts players at greater risk of injury. The NFL however, only sees the dollars coming in and simply doesn’t care.

  4. If the NFL cares about its players; Thursday games should only be played after a bye week. There should also be two bye weeks per season. Thursday Night game quality would go up.

  5. Never watched a Thursday Night game except on Thanksgiving. So I can genuinely say I wish they didn’t exist.

  6. I wonder if a study has ever been done to see if there is an increase of injuries on Thursday night games compared to Sunday or Monday

  7. Thursday night is an absolute joke, if they really want it, have the team play it after a bye week.

  8. Thursday games are generally crap for the exact same reasons as he has listed.

    It’s the NFL.. Not Pop Warner… the level of sophistication and detail needed to prepare for a game most lay people will never understand…

    And to prepare a human body to play NFL football on only 2 days rest is virtually impossible.

  9. Based on how many games he misses, I guess he doesn’t prefer Sunday or Monday games either.

  10. I always thought that he did prefer Thursday night games but now he says no. I’m so confused!

  11. STATISTICALLY, players got injured LESS in Thursday night games:

    “A short rest period between games is not associated with increased rates of observed injuries reported in NFL game books,” researchers from the University of Miami announced this May in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. “Rather, our data suggest there are significantly fewer injuries for Thursday night games compared with games played on regular rest.”

    “Games played on short rest had an average of 1.26 injuries, games with regular rest had 1.53, and games with long had 1.34.”

    Time to find another excuse. Data confirms that TNF is safe.

  12. About 1,000 guys were cut from NFL teams in September. I’ll bet they’d be willing to play any day of the week in place of McCaffrey.

  13. That’s like complaining about a 17 or 18 game season. Seems New England regularly played 19 game seasons and didn’t complain.

  14. Hey Ya’ll, I got a source in GB and she says GB is making a BIG play for a stud in the league before trade deadline, her words “They goin for it”

  15. TNF tv contract puts another $650 million into the revenue stream. I DON’T see players complaining about their $325 million cut of that.

    Nor do I see them whining about the mini-bye week after either. In fact, that’s one of the reasons the NFLPA doesn’t push to hard, because they know players love the 10 days off more that they hate the short week.

    Both teams playing a short week = no competitive advantage.
    One team with 10 days rest vs team with normal 7 day rest = competitive advantage.

  16. Of course he doesn’t. Although he’s obviously super talented, he is the Anthony Davis of the NFL.

  17. Rivera has to take some of the blame…

    2018 – Touches / 326 – Snaps 91%/966
    2019 – Touches / 403 – Snaps 93%/1039

    All of this for a 7-9 and 5-11!

  18. Thursday night games are terrible for the athletes and their bodies.

    For example I do a lot of track sprint training, it’s very exhaustive on the body. I can go for five or six days in a week depending on the intensity on the workouts, rest and stretch, and do it all over again the next. However if do a 100% intensity day, either I keep it very very short (like 6 sprints between 80-140 meters), or I’m going to need rest for at least a day, maybe two, as sprinting is very taxing on the body.

    Now take that experience and add in constant contact from being tackled, bumping into bodies, and if you’re a running back like CMac, getting ping ponged around inside the trenches. Three days is NOT enough.

  19. From a NFL player and coaches perspective:
    Thursday Night Games are a joke, total NFL money grab.

    10 inactives for tonight’s game.

  20. I don’t think the players want their bye week shortened by scheduling thursday night games after their bye week.

    There are 8-9 weeks in a season where there aren’t any byes.

  21. If you didn’t want to play Thursday night games then you should not have joined the NFL!

  22. He crying about 3 days of rest lol try 3-4 hrs after warehousing earthmover tires for 14 hrs @ 6 days a week 😂😂😂

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