Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey explains why Thursday games are brutal for linemen

The Steelers will spend Thanksgiving night in Indianapolis taking on the Colts, which has Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey not happy with the NFL because Thursday night games aren't exactly easy on offensive linemen.

On Tuesday, Pouncey explained why.

"Honestly, I don't like the Thursday games," he said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette."It's short preparation. The body gets short rest. As a lineman, we played 71 plays [against the Browns]. And every one of those 71 plays I touched somebody, trust and believe that. But, at the end of the day, if that's what the NFL wants, you have to go out and do it."

He has a point. While quarterbacks might face a tough mental challenge in getting prepared during a short week, players in the trenches face a physical challenge. And when you add in a travel day too, well, it's not the best week for the visiting team.

It's also interesting to examine the increase in Thursday night games through the lens of player safety. It's an issue that multiple players have talked about in recent years.

A year ago, Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater, who doesn't even see the field nearly as much as many of his teammates and colleagues around the league, issued the following complaint:

''You know, I can't sit here as the player rep of this team and say that I'm a huge fan of it,'' he said, per ''Obviously, it puts our players in a bind, but I understand why it's being done. I understand that we want to make this game available to our fans as often as possible. But you talk about players' safety and health, it's hard for us to understand how that's catering toward our players' safety and health.''

And in 2013, Texans lineman Duane Brown told the Monday Morning Quarterback that Thursday games are "dangerous" and that they feel "horrible."

"That Friday, everything was hurting; knees, hands, shoulders," he said. "I didn't get out of bed until that night. I didn't leave the house at all. You talk about player safety, but you want to extend the season and add Thursday games? It's talking out of both sides of your mouth."

Here's the good news for Pouncey and the Steelers: They're at least almost guaranteed to head home with a win. Andrew Luck, who is in the concussion protocol, probably won't be healthy in time to play. If the Colts and Steelers were playing on a Sunday, Luck would've had a decent shot at playing. A Thursday night game all but sealed his spot on the sidelines.

Still, I'm guessing that won't make Pouncey's body feel any better Friday morning.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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