An ongoing complaint from NFL fans has surrounded Thursday Night Football and how these short turnarounds can affect the safety of the players. That may only be enhanced after a massive decision on Tuesday night.
The NFL’s annual owner’s meeting has been taking place to discuss various potential NFL rule changes. This has led to a significant rule change that could change how many TNF games each team can play each year.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, owners have approved a change that will allow teams to play two TNF games in a season. Teams were previously only allowed to play in one TNF game each year.
The Thursday Night Football flex scheduling proposal was tabled until May, per NFL EVP/Chief Media and Business Officer Brian Rolapp.
However, owners did approve a change that will allow a team to play two TNF games in a season.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 28, 2023
It seems like this change will likely make it so the most successful teams are on primetime games on Thursday nights more often. NFL EVP/Chief Media and Business Officer Brian Rolapp detailed just as much when revealing the news.
“We want to make sure that teams competitively play their way into primetime,” Rolapp said via Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team.
NFL says there’s no promise all 32 teams are getting a primetime game.
“We want to make sure that teams competitively play their way into primetime,” NFL EVP/Chief Media and Business Officer Brian Rolapp said. https://t.co/wSrJ8XUog6
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) March 28, 2023
Many see some serious problems with teams playing multiple TNF games, including the additional injury risk of playing on a short week multiple times.
Having trouble finding many people who want this. https://t.co/oOCjwHra8A
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) March 28, 2023
Ohhhh boy. Wish that the players had pushed harder for a second bye week, we’re gonna see a lot more injuries w/ out time to recover coming. https://t.co/auyKW8K7By
— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) March 28, 2023
Player reaction to this will be something. https://t.co/vYYVGIPRfh
— Eric Smith (@Eric_L_Smith) March 28, 2023
Abolish Thursday Night Football
— James Brady (@jamesbradyisme) March 28, 2023
Profits over player safety. https://t.co/qpL8bjSYMS
— Robert Harding (@RobertHarding) March 28, 2023
Perhaps even more wild is that teams could realistically be scheduled for four Thursday Night Football games. The opening game of the season and Thanksgiving aren’t counted as “short-week Thursdays.”
Opening Night (on a Thursday) does not count here. It’s only “short week Thursdays.”
So….Thanksgiving followed by a TNF game = that second game (week after thanksgiving) also doesn’t count.
With those games, it can be more than two Thursdays. https://t.co/6VeieFjhsP
— Sal Capaccio 🏈 (@SalSports) March 28, 2023
This new rule undoubtedly seems like it may be a risk for players who ultimately end up playing in additional TNF games. It also certainly could be a rule that unfortunately penalizes better or more popular teams who may be more likely to be chosen to play in two short-week games.