The NFL owners’ meetings in Arizona continued Tuesday, and while one approved rule change was met with praise — players are now able to wear No. 0 — another one was met with criticism.
The league, in its desire to avoid a repeat of the lackluster 2022 slate of prime-time games, has dropped the restriction that teams could only play once on a short week for “Thursday Night Football.”
While no network was spared from poor play in the coveted time slots last year, Amazon drew the short straw in scheduling.
Al Michaels, in his first season with the streaming service, was often a talking point on social media for his obvious displeasure with the overall quality of play on Thursday nights.
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In previous years, every team had to play at least once on a Thursday in the interest of fairness. Starting in 2023, that is no longer a guarantee. The league will instead be putting an emphasis on getting the better teams in the Amazon games.
Teams can now play two games on a short week. The Week 1 season opener and Thanksgiving games do not count toward that total, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
For clarity, the change would allow a team to play on TNF *on a short week* twice in a season. So doesn’t include the Week 1 opener, a TNF game after a Thanksgiving game, etc.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 28, 2023
While the league has, to this point, spared players and teams from flexing games into Thursdays late in the season, this change hasn’t received positive reviews. Reactions immediately began pouring in and, to no one’s surprise, player safety is the top concern.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) March 28, 2023
So much for player safety
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) March 28, 2023
How does this make any sense but you know “player safety is our main concern” smh https://t.co/rrWsOWTWX5
— Shelby Harris (@ShelbyHarris93) March 28, 2023
Player safety huh 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/ktxVBIOqIx
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) March 28, 2023
@NFLPA we gotta do something about this https://t.co/LP13clrjHA
— Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) March 28, 2023
Hell naw… we need to take that shit away! https://t.co/u5sKcq7Z1H
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 28, 2023
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It’s unlikely the players’ stance with change anything, and the debate over player safety will continue to dominate the discussion around “Thursday Night Football.”
This article will be updated.