Drew Brees Says Thursday Night Football Is 'Absolutely' Not Safe

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints warms up prior to facing the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 7, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees told reporters that playing on Thursday night is "absolutely" not safe after his team suffered a slew of injuries during a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

"It's 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night," Brees told reporters of the high injury rate. "Do you understand what guys' bodies go through in a game? And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? ... Is this smart as it pertains to guys' health and safety? No, absolutely not."

SportsCenter provided video of Brees' comments: 

The Saints, who dropped to 9-4, were hampered by ailments to several key players.

The most notable was running back Alvin Kamara, who was forced to leave the game in the first quarter with a concussion.

According to ESPN.com's Mike Triplett, the Saints also watched as safety Kenny Vaccaro (groin), linebacker A.J. Klein (groin), guard Senio Kelemete (concussion) and defensive end Trey Hendrickson (ankle) all departed the contest following medical examinations. 

Brees' sentiment is one that's been expressed by players time and again over the past two seasons.

The most prominent criticism came from Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who published a piece for The Players' Tribune in 2016 called "Why I Hate Thursday Night Football" after he referred to the scheduling practice as a "poopfest." 

Sherman suffered a season-ending Achilles tear during the Seahawks' 22-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Following that contest, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin told reporters Thursday games "should be illegal."

One week before Baldwin spoke out, Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito had some harsh words for Thursday matchups in the aftermath of his team's 34-21 loss to the New York Jets.

"They suck," Incognito said, per ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. "They throw a wrench in our schedule. It's absolutely ridiculous that we have to do this. As physical as this game is, as much work and preparation that goes into this, to force us to play games on four-day weeks, it's completely unfair and bulls--t. The league makes money off it, and that's all they care about anyway."

The Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts will meet in the final Thursday night matchup of the season Dec. 14.