FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Jermaine Kearse is no fan of Thursday night games.
The New York Jets wide receiver echoed what has become a growing sentiment among NFL players who think the league should get rid of short work weeks because they are detrimental to their health and safety.
“You’re asking guys who play a high volume on one day and literally give it their all on that one day and ask them to recover and try to bounce back in a couple of days,” Kearse said after practice Friday. “It’s kind of tough, especially when you’re already dealing with certain stuff from previous weeks that might be nagging or lingering.”
Kearse was asked about his thoughts on Thursday games a day after he watched former Seattle teammate Richard Sherman suffer a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in the Seahawks’ win against the Arizona Cardinals.
When asked whether the NFL should ditch the Thursday games, Kearse said flatly: “Yeah.”
The veteran receiver said he couldn’t speak for all players, but thinks games on Thursday nights aren’t “helpful” because of the short recovery time after playing on Sunday.
“This game has a 100 percent injury rate,” Kearse said. “That’s the truth, that’s the facts. … You give them a short week like that, it’s tough.”
Kearse says the NFL Players Association needs to address the issue during its next collective bargaining agreement meetings with the league.
“I think there definitely needs to be a discussion, for sure,” he said. “Just finding better ways to take care of the players. I mean, guys are putting their bodies on the line, day in and day out.”
Kearse mentioned Houston rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson suffering a season-ending knee injury on a noncontact play in practice last week.
He added that if players gets banged up on Sunday, they sometimes aren’t ready to play until the following Saturday.
“It depends on how you come out of the game, really,” Kearse said.
Kearse played in a Thursday night game last week when the Jets beat the Buffalo Bills 34-21 . He said he was fortunate to not have had any injury issues coming out of the previous game against Atlanta.
“For me, I just have to do as much as I can, whether it’s spend more time in the recovery process or trying to get my body to its best ability to go out there and perform on that Thursday,” he said. “For others, some guys are fighting their recovery until the night of the game.”
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