The 2023 NFL offseason has already seen some new rule changes. In addition to new uniform rules that allow players to wear the number 0, the league also tweaked scheduling rules to allow teams to play two Thursday Night Football games instead of just one.
Patrick Mahomes is unhappy with the extra Thursday game and neither are numerous other players. Darius Slay and (now former player) JJ Watt spoke out about the extra TNF contest and the possibility of flexing games from Sunday to Thursday to get a more fun matchup.
The Philadelphia Eagles cornerback said that the rule should be changed, writing: “Hell naw… we need to take that s**t away!” Watt took issue with the flexing games, a rule that has not been officially passed but will be discussed again in May. He pointed to both the concerns of players and fans.
“Flexing games from Sunday to Thursday is a terrible idea for two main reasons,” Watt wrote. “1) Player Safety You can’t make this decision and also preach that player safety is a priority. 2) Fans People spending hard earned money to see their team play. Who’s paying to change their plans?”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that he has heard from players who are fine playing on Thursday because it means extra rest after those games. He also said that the data does not show higher injury rates from playing games on short rest. Some studies support his claim but others refute it.
With so many players being outspoken about the issue with TNF (both this offseason and in the past), the NFL will have to turn a blind eye to even more criticism from the players it claims to care for.