Devin McCourty: “It sucks to play Sunday and then have to play again Thursday”

NFL: NOV 14 Browns at Patriots
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Add Patriots safety Devin McCourty to the long list of players who are not fans of Thursday Night Football.

McCourty, whose Patriots play the Falcons this Thursday, said he hates the grind of playing on a short week.

“Quite frankly, it sucks to play Sunday and then have to play again Thursday,” McCourty said. “But you push through and you look at the next break that you’re gonna get is a 10-day break. You gotta push through mentally and continue to tell yourself that and go out there and try to play a good game. There’s two teams going through the same thing and it’ll come down to who out-prepares each other, who can recover better, all those little things in a short amount of time play a big factor come Thursday night.”

That’s a common complaint from NFL players, but when it comes time to negotiate the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players’ union has never drawn a hard line and said the players simply won’t agree to a deal if there are going to be games on Thursday nights. Ultimately, Thursday Night Football brings in additional money, and that money is split between the owners and the players, and the players have accepted it, begrudgingly.

80 responses to “Devin McCourty: “It sucks to play Sunday and then have to play again Thursday”

  1. This ultimately leads to more injuries, including joints, limbs, soft tissue and brain injuries.

    That owners keep this pace up while claiming they care about brain injuries but refusing to significantly increase roster sizes tells you it’s not sustainable and they don’t legitimately care about player safety.

  2. I finally reached an age where it feels like I played a game of football the day after raking leaves. I can’t imagine trying to physically recover from two games in the span of four days. But I’d give it a try for a few million.

  3. Totally get it. It’s a very demanding sport.

    The beauty is though. Nobody is forcing you to play football. You are welcome to quit any time you want and get a 9-5 job that barely pays enough to put food on the table….

    Like most of the fans that pay hard earned money to watch you play.

  4. He has a point, I really hate when my employer schedules two of my work days only 4 days apart and forces me to earn $1.3 million for each day of work. It feels like they’re just taking advantage of me.

  5. Comes out to between $100 and $150 k per player in additional salary having Thursday games. Rally your boys and just say no. Good luck with that.

  6. This isn’t the NHL, MLB or the NBA, these are not pickup games. It takes a week to convalesce from the physical brutality of football so why make the players go through this dreadfully short week-it’s an insult to the game. And no hockey is not as physical as football, if it was the NHL would not have an 82 game schedule and a death march of a playoff system like the NBA.

  7. NFL shortened overtime for “player safety” if they really cared they wouldn’t have a 17th game nor would they play on thursday. Except for the Thanksgiving games. The NFLPA should draw a line in the sand next CBA.

  8. Hockey players play 3 games a week and travel. for my money that’s harder than one Thursday night game a season

  9. What a whiner, try doing a real job like 99.9% of us without satisfactory compensation. Crybaby

  10. oh no you have do it once per year meanwhile being paid millions to play a game. poor snowflake.

  11. Players love to complain to the media. If they had their way they would be at home playing the game on madden instead of on the field but they wouldn’t take 1 dollar less to do it.

    That’s what it really comes down to. This is also the same union that refused to sign the last CBA if it was mandated that the players have to wear knee, thigh, and hip pads. Safety is only used when whining to the press. When it comes time to make the rules safety is the last thing on their minds.

  12. He should get a gig at Denny’s and work a double for a boss who treats him like trash. He’s living the dream of 85% of American males. He should really just shut up.

  13. “Thursday Night Football brings in additional money, and that money is split between the owners and the players . . .”
    ———————

    And as I recall, that split is pretty close to 50-50. Something to keep in mind before blaming everything bad in the NFL on “the greedy owners”.

  14. Cry me a river Devin, the Dolphins had to play a Monday night game once and three days later had to play on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday. Plus they had to play the hottest team in football at the time, the St. Luis Cardinals, who were on a 10 game winning streak. After that the NFL changed it so that no team will ever have to do that again. How did the Phins do in that game after only 3 days of rest and one practice you might ask? They blew out the Cards 55-14, Bob Griese threw 6 TD passes in that game, the only points the Cards scored were 2 garbage time TD’s. It was 55-0 at one point. Yeah the Phins were that good once. Hard to believe today.

  15. If the Patriots leave Atlanta with a 7-4 record followed by a 10-day vacation, they will be “rested and ready” for the stretch run and a probable lock for a spot in the post-season.

  16. These NFL players are so soft! You make millions, put on your cleats and suck it up you baby!

  17. Fox is paying the league $660 million per season for Thursday Night Football. I DON’T see a single player complaining about their share of an extra $330 million in their contracts…

  18. As a fan I love watching NFL games on Thursdays, but sadly the players heath is at risk with games on short weeks and adding regular season games.

  19. The Edmonton Elks of the Canadian Football League are in the middle of playing 3 games over 7 days and no one complained. I guess Canadians are just a lot tougher and less whiny than their counterparts down south.

  20. Devin, if it makes you feel any better, I’ll be working my butt off today, just like yesterday and the day before.
    In fact, the only time I’m not working my butt off is while you are playing a game for three hours per week, making 1,000x what I make.
    Oh, and I don’t get an off-season.
    You’ll be OK.

    Go Pats!!!

  21. In any given nfl game only 18 minutes of actual clock time is real plays happening. So on average 9 minutes for d and 9 minutes for o per team. Roughly. I think you can handle a thursday game of 9 minutes.

  22. By mid season most players don’t even fully practice until Wednesday or Thursday, so yeah I can see that being a challenge.

  23. The NFL schedule maker could really be doing a better job with this, scheduling bye weeks in conjunction with the TNF schedule isn’t that hard.

  24. If only NFL players had advanced notice… if only they were financially compensated… if only there were some financial incentive to enable them to survive such misery… instead of the paltry Civil Servant-esque) salary they’ve been forced to accept.

  25. Thursday night games might bring in more, money but it harms the product. They typically are the worst played games of the week. Sloppy execution and listless players don’t make for exciting contests.
    The Thanksgiving games should have been kept as the unique tradition they’ve always been, not diluted by regular Thursday night mediocrities.

  26. He’s probably referring to the work culture inside. If it were a fun place to be in, no one would complain. Sounds like a death camp.

  27. When these young,now multi millionaire players came out of college and signed their first NFL contract they knew that NFL schedules may include a Thursday night game after a Sunday game and yet they still signed that contract.wish they all would stop complaining,its not like they must play every thursday of the season after all.what sucks is for nfl teams paying out those huge paychecks every two weeks allowing players to live like kings yet still complain bitterly about playing on thursday night.they should just be thankful they are able to play on that night because many bad things could happen to them where they would love to be playing on thursdays.

  28. iloveyouneighbor says:
    November 17, 2021 at 8:24 am
    Devin, if it makes you feel any better, I’ll be working my butt off today, just like yesterday and the day before.
    In fact, the only time I’m not working my butt off is while you are playing a game for three hours per week, making 1,000x what I make.
    Oh, and I don’t get an off-season.
    You’ll be OK.

    Go Pats!!!
    ——————————–

    So you actually believe that NFL players work 3 hours per week? And don’t work during the offseason?

  29. Thursday night football is so much better than Monday night football. I look forward to Thursday games. Monday, no so much.

  30. Al the NFL needs to do is add another bye week or two and not start the Thursday games (other than the season opener) until week three or four, scheduling things so that the teams playing on a Thursday do so after a bye week. Hell they could even add games on other nights under that framework. It also adds additional weeks, but not games to the season, meaning more TV contract money without additional damage to the players’ bodies. Extending the NFL season a couple of weeks would be a ratings gold mine. February is a dead sports month as the NFL and NBA are in the dog days of winter parts of their seasons. Finally, this would result in the SB being played on presidents’ day weekend.

    Instead, the owners foolishly extended the season to 17 with the intent of going to 18. Dumb dumb dumb dumb duuuuuummmmmb.

  31. I’m supportive of eliminating Thursday Night Football except for opening night and Thanksgiving, with the teams playing on Thanksgiving having their bye week the week before.

  32. I still don’t understand why it’s not possible for the league’s schedule makers to have it that any team playing on a Thursday isn’t coming off a bye week the week previous. It seems like the simplest solution to prevent a “short week” and to ensure players’ bodies are well rested and less prone to injury.

    Figure it out, NFL!

  33. I would understand these comments and articles if thrs night football was a new thing, but this has been around for 15 years now. Get over it. It’s here to stay.

  34. Hey Devin M., want to know what sucks? Going into work at 2am 6 days a week & working 8-12 hrs. a shift. Stop snibbiling and go play football.

  35. I’m a fan and can’t stand seeing teams forced to play Thursdays. It’s stupid. Injuries, lack of rest……Where is the union?

  36. Compare and contrast the attacks on McCourty in this thread to the support of Gruden going after the money for not coaching, after he resigned and admitted wrongdoing. Gruden has a mediocre record, especially with the Raiders.

    McCourty is a veteran with over ten years who has always suited up to play. He honestly admits playing on a short week is physically difficult. What NFL player doesn’t? None of you could play NFL football and you certainly wouldn’t do it for “nothing” (that’s just an indirect complaint that the market values NFL players at a high level).

    Players are a meritocracy. Coaches less. Owners even less.

  37. Average is 80 plays per team. Say 5 seconds of actual play time, that’s about 7 minutes of actual playing time, per offense or defense.
    Could be worse, you could play soccer where the average MLS player runs a 10K each game.
    Or a 5 set tennis match lasting 3 hours of actually running and moving.

  38. The NFL should go to 2 bye weeks for each team. 2 teams on bye per week starting in week 2. When you come off of your 1st bye you play on Thursday night. When you go into your 2nd bye it should be after a neutral site game.
    I also think with 17 regular season games the odd numbered game should be at a nuetral site since they share revenue anyway.

  39. Any player that thinks it sucks to get paid millions to do what you contractually signed up to do are free to retire and pursue some other career that doesn’t have any aspects that suck!

  40. Wow! Such anger and ignorance on display with so many of these comments.

    McCourty was ASKED his thoughts on the quick turnaround– he didn’t just come out and complain about it. He gave an honest answer. Football players are creatures of habit and when their routine gets messed up it can impact their performance. Period. Should he have lied and said, “I’d love to play 3 or 4 Thursday games a season?”

    As for those juvenile comments along the lines of “quit whining,” and “come try a real job,” I’d ask why you don’t go try and do Devin’s job? Oh that’s right, he’s better than you (and probably a better human being too).

  41. Thursday night games are literally the worst decision the NFL/Union has ever made. Hey, NFL, do you have to have all the money??

  42. so many tough key board warriors on here. didn’t know so many elite athletes commented on here

  43. intomwetrusted says:
    November 17, 2021 at 9:26 am
    I still don’t understand why it’s not possible for the league’s schedule makers to have it that any team playing on a Thursday isn’t coming off a bye week the week previous

    ——-

    What teams are coming off a bye week in week 2?

  44. Cry me a river Devin, the Dolphins had to play a Monday night game once and three days later had to play on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday. Plus they had to play the hottest team in football at the time, the St. Luis Cardinals, who were on a 10 game winning streak. After that the NFL changed it so that no team will ever have to do that again. How did the Phins do in that game after only 3 days of rest and one practice you might ask? They blew out the Cards 55-14, Bob Griese threw 6 TD passes in that game, the only points the Cards scored were 2 garbage time TD’s. It was 55-0 at one point. Yeah the Phins were that good once. Hard to believe today.

    ————————————–

    Hard to believe today…

    Because it’s not true.

    Yes… the Dolphins did beat the Cardinals that day, and I as a Cardinal fan remeber that game vividly as I was just a kid, and got teased mercilessly because of the 55-14 score..

    The Cardinals were a 7-7 team that year and had won about 5 games in a row (against bad competition) before that game…

    They also were NEVER behind 55-0, as I remeber a Terry Metcalf TD pulling them to 14-7…

    The Cardinals were also beat up Physicalky because of their win on the previous Sunday and never won another game… including losing the first game ever to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Stadium… a game I attended.

  45. “As a fan I love watching NFL games on Thursdays”

    I don’t. Most of the games are stinkers. Its not only the player’s bodies that suffer, its the quality of play by rushing them back on the field after only 3 days.

    I’d much rather have no Thursday games and get a better product on Sundays.

  46. intomwetrusted says: “I still don’t understand why it’s not possible for the league’s schedule makers to have it that any team playing on a Thursday isn’t coming off a bye week the week previous.”
    —————

    Right. Guess what Giants and WFT – you’re playing Week 2 TNF, so your only bye week is opening weekend. Have fun playing 17 straight weeks after that…

  47. goodellisaclown says:
    November 17, 2021 at 10:27 am
    Wow! Such anger and ignorance on display with so many of these comments.

    McCourty was ASKED his thoughts on the quick turnaround– he didn’t just come out and complain about it. He gave an honest answer. Football players are creatures of habit and when their routine gets messed up it can impact their performance. Period. Should he have lied and said, “I’d love to play 3 or 4 Thursday games a season?”

    As for those juvenile comments along the lines of “quit whining,” and “come try a real job,” I’d ask why you don’t go try and do Devin’s job? Oh that’s right, he’s better than you (and probably a better human being too).

    ———

    Wow. His publicist has spoken. Lol

  48. If The NFL would add a second Bye week.. then maybe Thursday night games would be good…

    Example..

    Week 10 Bye..
    Week 11 Thursday Night game…
    Week 12 Bye..

    Then every team gets to stretches where they play 1 game in between two 10 day rest periods.

  49. I hate it that I work Monday and Tuesday, but still have to go in Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

  50. Similiar to Brady complaining about the 17 game season, another case of a player with a huge bank accounting wagging his finger. Ask any player, who is not making the big $, what their opinion would be.

  51. The Edmonton Elks just beat the Toronto Argos on THREE DAYS’ REST yesterday. And they have a game on Friday and the players are pumped. No whining from Canadian football players at all about 3 games over 7 days.

    Guess they’re just built tougher up here…

  52. I am not one to tell the players to stop whining. What I do want to point out about Thursday night football is the product on the field. It’s just sloppy football and a lot of upset games happened on Thursday night for a reason. Players need more time to recuperate in order to display better effort, energy, and playmaking.

  53. I think McCourty is saying that a 3-day turnaround isn’t much time for a player’s body to recover from the violence of Sunday’s game. There is a reason why football games were only played once a week in the old days…but then greed set in.

  54. What sucks: Working Monday and then having to work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, all for less than $100,000 a year.

    What doesn’t suck: Having to play football on Sunday and again on Thursday, for more than $11,000,000 this year.

    If he wants to trade jobs (and salaries) this week, have him call my cell.

  55. johnwick says:
    November 17, 2021 at 6:36 am
    This isn’t the NHL, MLB or the NBA, these are not pickup games. It takes a week to convalesce from the physical brutality of football so why make the players go through this dreadfully short week-it’s an insult to the game. And no hockey is not as physical as football, if it was the NHL would not have an 82 game schedule and a death march of a playoff system like the NBA.

    Hockey is wayyyyyyy more physical than football! I’m guessing you’ve never played either sport.

  56. johnwick says:
    November 17, 2021 at 6:36 am
    This isn’t the NHL, MLB or the NBA, these are not pickup games. It takes a week to convalesce from the physical brutality of football so why make the players go through this dreadfully short week-it’s an insult to the game. And no hockey is not as physical as football, if it was the NHL would not have an 82 game schedule and a death march of a playoff system like the NBA.
    ^^^^^^^
    Hockey is wayyyyyyy more physical than football! I’m guessing you’ve never played either sport.

  57. cakesw says:
    November 17, 2021 at 11:00 am
    Cry me a river Devin, the Dolphins had to play a Monday night game once and three days later had to play on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday. Plus they had to play the hottest team in football at the time, the St. Luis Cardinals, who were on a 10 game winning streak. After that the NFL changed it so that no team will ever have to do that again. How did the Phins do in that game after only 3 days of rest and one practice you might ask? They blew out the Cards 55-14, Bob Griese threw 6 TD passes in that game, the only points the Cards scored were 2 garbage time TD’s. It was 55-0 at one point. Yeah the Phins were that good once. Hard to believe today.

    ————————————–

    Hard to believe today…

    Because it’s not true.

    Yes… the Dolphins did beat the Cardinals that day, and I as a Cardinal fan remember that game vividly as I was just a kid, and got teased mercilessly because of the 55-14 score..

    The Cardinals were a 7-7 team that year and had won about 5 games in a row (against bad competition) before that game…

    They also were NEVER behind 55-0, as I remember a Terry Metcalf TD pulling them to 14-7…

    The Cardinals were also beat up Physically because of their win on the previous Sunday and never won another game… including losing the first game ever to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Stadium… a game I attended.
    ++++++++++++
    It also is not true that the Dolphins played the previous Monday. The Dolphins lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on November 20, 1977, a Sunday. On Thanksgiving Day, November 24th, they did lose to the Cards. Dolphins never led 55-0, their biggest lead was 48-7. The Cardinals were coming off a 6 game win streak (not 10), and would finish the season losing 4 in a row.

  58. Arctic Hawk says:
    November 17, 2021 at 12:03 pm
    Similiar to Brady complaining about the 17 game season, another case of a player with a huge bank accounting wagging his finger. Ask any player, who is not making the big $, what their opinion would be.
    ——//-
    Likely it would be something like this “thank you so much Mr Brady for being so much better than me, bringing millions of people, sponsors, etc to our sport and bundles of money that I get to share in. Thank you again.

  59. Wonder if players could roll back the Thursday game or the 17 game schedule back to 16, which one would they choose to get rid off?
    Not gonna happen, of course, but both are tough on the body. At least McCourty mostly just dishes out punishment to opposing receivers. Those linemen and RBs. Hard!

  60. Just more proof the nfl isnt about player safety and integrity like they preach. it’s always about the dollar!

  61. Funny how patriot fans are in here downvoting everyone who criticizes this crybaby get if a Colts player said the exact same thing, they’d be wailing on here how soft he is etc. New England has the most sensitive joke of a fanbase in sports

  62. Cowboys have been doing this forever on Thanksgiving. It’s never seemed like an issue. The only complaint that I’ve ever heard is that it’s always a home game for them.

  63. A Saturday night game would be much better for the quality of the game played and for the sake of the players health. If Thursday night games are so great why don’t they happen during the playoffs?

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