NFL Deciding Between Money and Player Safety on Thursday Night Football

Get Rid of Thursday Night Football! “Guys don’t have time to recover,” said Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin, who hurt his groin during pregame drills but muddled through. “Hard to recover in four days.”

Asked whether all the injuries were Exhibit A as to why Thursday night games are tough on NFL players, Baldwin said: “It’s Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D, Exhibit Z. Thursday night football should be illegal.”

If Thursday night’s bloodletting isn’t the tipping point for the NFL to reconsider its full-season slate of Thursday night games, it’s hard to imagine the calamities that actually will be. At some point, the league will have to consider whether the $1.86 billion it will receive from NBC, CBS, Twitter and Amazon over the course of the two-year Thursday night TV and streaming package — the deal ends after this season — is worth it both in terms of player safety and the competitive decline that results from all these players getting injured.

The players will have to decide, too, because some of that TV money — around $225 million — trickles down to them. Would they give that up?


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