Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes doesn’t appear to be a fan of the league’s decision to increase teams’ maximum appearances on Thursday Night Football from one to two.
The league has come under scrutiny given the short week between a game Sunday and the Thursday matchup. The tight window limits game-planning and recovery.
Commissioner Roger Goodell insisted the NFL is not prioritizing its broadcast relationship over player health and safety when informed of Mahomes’ reaction.
“I don’t think we are putting Amazon over our players,” Goodell said, according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “We look at data with respect to injuries and impact on players. … I think we have data that’s very clear, it doesn’t show higher injury rate.”
The NFL commish said he’s heard from players who are in favor of the short week. “They have 10 days afterwards. So there’s some benefits on that side,” he said.
NFL chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp added, “These national windows are for clubs that are playing well. We want to put the best teams in the best windows.”
Following the change, there’s belief that the league could approve the flexing of TNF games, which was tabled until at least May.
New York Giants co-owner John Mara is “adamantly opposed” to flexible scheduling for TNF, calling the proposal “abusive” to season-ticket holders, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
Goodell disagreed with Mara’s comments, saying the league is attempting to balance the best interests of in-stadium fans and those watching on television.
“There isn’t anybody in any of our organization that doesn’t put our fans first,” Goodell said, per Pryor. “Providing the best matchups for our fans is what we do.”
Several other current and former players voiced their displeasure with the potential change, including three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.
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