Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger became the latest high-profile player to rip Thursday Night Football games.
Roethlisberger said players need a full week to recover, describing Thursday games as “miserable” and “terrible.”
“They need to get rid of this game,” Roethlisberger said, on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. “Just play on Mondays and Sundays. It’s so tough on guys, you’re beat, you’re banged up. It’s a very violent, physical game we play. … You’ve got to let your body recover a little bit.”
Roethlisberger joins a list of players who have voiced their dislike for the game. Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin made similar comments earlier this month after several of his teammates, including star defensive back Richard Sherman, were injured.
But Cowboys owner Jerry Jones refuted that premise during his 105.3 The Fan radio show on Tuesday. The Cowboys are set to play consecutive Thursday games this month – against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving and the following Thursday night, Nov. 30, against the Washington Redskins.
“Not one shred of statistics show that to be a disadvantage, inordinately challenging physically for the players,” Jones said. “We’re the poster child of playing on Thursday and, as a result, what it does to the demand for players being rested or being healthy.”
Jones went on to defend Thursday Night Football from a league standpoint. After all, the networks are paying top dollar to broadcast the games and it’s an additional night to attract viewers.
“Thursday Night Football, to be direct, has increased the number of eyeballs that watch television,” Jones said. “I can understand network’s issues over … each network wants the highest quality game and the NFL does too. But the way for the most eyeballs to see the game is to have Thursday Night Football.”