Every week in the NFL, there seems to be at least one new player out there who's unhappy with playing football on Thursdays, and this week that player is Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers will be hosting the Titans on Thursday night this week, and let's just say that Big Ben isn't happy about the fact that he has to play in the game. During an interview Monday with 93.7 The Fan, a CBS Sports Radio station in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger ripped the idea of Thursday games and called on the NFL to just get rid of them.
"It's miserable, it's terrible, they need to get rid of this game I think," Roethlisberger said. "Just play on Mondays and Sundays. It's so tough on guys, you're beat up, you're banged up. It's a very violent, physical game we play."
Roethlisberger also added that the Titans probably feel the same way about playing on just four days of rest.
"Both teams are going through it, so I'm not just speaking on ours," Roethlisberger said. "I'm sure the Titans would say the same thing and everyone who's played on Thursday night would say the same thing."
The Steelers quarterback isn't the first player this season to call on the NFL to put an end to Thursday football. After the Seahawks beat the Cardinals in Week 10, Doug Baldwin said playing on Thursday should be "illegal."
Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito had a similar reaction after a 34-21 loss to the Jets in Week 9. Following that game, Incognito said that Thursday games "suck" and it's "ridiculous" that the NFL puts them on the schedule.
During the Seahawks-Cardinals game, nearly a dozen players went down with some sort of injury. That isn't a coincidence, according to Big Ben. Roethlisberger believes these injuries are happening because the players aren't getting enough time to recover when they play on a Thursday.
"You've got to let your body recover a little bit," Roethlisberger said. "Even a week, you're still not fully recovered by Sunday to Sunday, you're still dealing with bumps and bruises and things just continue to build up throughout the season. When you go on such a short week, man, it's just not good. I don't know many players that like it. It's a tough thing to do, but you know, you've got to do what the league says."
The downside for the players is that if the league were to drop "Thursday Night Football," that would eliminate the gigantic rights fee that comes with it and subsequently drive down the salary cap, meaning less money for the players. The current "TNF" package actually expires after the 2017 season, so if the NFL did want to make a change, they could theoretically do it starting with the 2018 season.
With network executives also questioning the wisdom of playing football on Thursday night, it will be interesting to see what the NFL decides to do with the package going forward.