NFL reportedly thinking about eliminating 'Thursday Night Football'

After 10 years of "Thursday Night Football," the NFL might finally be ready to call it quits. According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL is mulling the possibility of eliminating "Thursday Night Football," which would be a drastic move after sticking with it for more than a decade. If the NFL isn't ready to get rid of Thursday night games, PFT added that there's also a chance that the league will limit the number of games in the near future.

Of course, it's unlikely that anything would happen before the end of the 2017 season. In February 2016, both CBS and NBC signed up for two seasons of Thursday night games in a contract that expires at the end of 2017.

After that deal runs out, the NFL could conceivably do whatever it wants with Thursday night games, including the possibility of eliminating them altogether.

There's also the possibility that nothing will happen. In a statement to CNBC on Monday, the league disputed the report from ProFootballTalk.

"We are fully committed to 'Thursday Night Football' and any reports to the contrary are unfounded," the league said.

As for the PFT report, one of the reasons PFT says the league is thinking about dumping Thursday games is due to the fact that there aren't enough quality prime-time games to go around.

Former NFL coach and longtime broadcaster John Madden was one of the many people who made that exact point recently.

During an interview just before Thanksgiving, Madden said that "Thursday Night Football" just isn't working.

"Something has to be done about 'Thursday Night Football.' It just doesn't work." Madden said. "It's not only a fan thing, it's a team thing. It's a safety thing. It's a competitive thing. It doesn't work."

Under the current structure of Thursday night games, every team is required to play at least once, which leads to bad matchups, which leads to lower ratings.

"What's happens is there are not a lot of good teams, and they have too many windows to put these games in," the Super Bowl-winning coach said. "When you think of an early Sunday window, a late Sunday window, a Sunday night window, a Monday night window, a Thursday night window. They all want good games, and there's not enough good teams."

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Not even Color Rush games seemed to help sagging TV ratings on Thursday nights. USATSI

If the NFL decides to keep Thursday games, one possibility is that the league would only play them in the Thursdays following Thanksgiving, according to PFT. Of course, no matter what happens to the Thursday package, the NFL will still hold Turkey Day games every year.

From 2006 to 2010, there were no Thursday night games held before November. The NFL didn't expand Thursday night games to fill the entire schedule until 2012.

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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