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Goodell says many players don’t want a bye week before Thursday games

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell laughs after talking with former head coach Tony Dungy before a news conference in advance of the Super Bowl 52 football game, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Thursday Night Football is here to stay, as this week’s deal with FOX makes clear. But can the NFL do anything to accommodate players who say playing on Sunday and then again on Thursday is too hard on their bodies?

One proposal that’s often floated is giving every team its bye before its Thursday night game. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he has heard from players who don’t like that idea.

“I think the reaction is clearly mixed within the players that I’ve spoken to,” Goodell said. “Obviously, most players don’t like a short week, but they sure do love the 10 days that come after that. And in fact, I can remember, distinctly, several conversations about, ‘This is like a mini-bye, so don’t put the Thursday game close to the bye week, because that’s something we want to make sure that we have separated, so we can get the benefits of both of those.’”

It seems unlikely that the NFL will implement a schedule that guarantees teams a bye week before a Thursday night game, and Goodell doesn’t sound convinced that players really want that anyway.