“Thursday Night Football” used to be a treat. With three games on Thanksgiving and a handful of others sprinkled around the season, midweek games were a fun sign of the playoffs nearing.
But since 2012, the NFL has turned this year-round sport into a week-long spectacle with no more than two days between any pro football games. That has left some fans burnt out and players overworked with short weeks.
You can count Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley among those players who are less than enthused with the prospect of playing two games in five days.
The Rams are set to travel up to Seattle after a tough loss with little time to rest up and practice. Contrary to what one might assume, injuries have been found to be less common on short rest compared to a normal week, but that doesn’t change athletes feeling tired and the quality of game potentially nosediving as well.
“For the most part, if you aren't really battling injuries or stuff like that, Thursday is kind of like a day you usually feel good anyway,” Gurley said. “They played on Sunday, as well. ... We just have a quick turnaround to go up to Seattle.”
Gurley is right to point out that neither team will have an advantage with extra rest — that will be true all year — but sometimes players’ well-beings should be taken into account. He’s far from the first player to call out the league for blatantly trying to fill its pockets, but that’s not likely to change any time soon.
“Thursday Night Football” has had plenty of snoozers over the years — not to mention confusing Color Rush uniforms — but it’s going to stick around as long as ratings remain up and they can pull in more money on an extra day of the week.
Will Gurley get more touches on Thursday?
Gurley likely has always felt negatively about Thursday games, but he may have also been in a negative mood on Sunday because he received a career-low five carries for just 16 yards.
The Rams only ran the ball 11 times in the high-scoring affair, but Gurley’s touches have been down all season. After averaging 18.0 carries per game in his first four seasons, Gurley is down to just 49 through four games. How much his lingering knee injury has to do with it is up in the air, but the Rams are not comfortable using him as a bell cow at this point.
Gurley and the Rams may not have much luck against the Seahawks, however, as they rank sixth in the NFL with just 79.5 yards rushing allowed per game.
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