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Rams' Todd Gurley Rips NFL's 'Thursday Night Football' as 'Dumbest Thing Ever'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams throws the ball into the crowd after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

NFL players aren't big fans of Thursday Night Football. Consider Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley among the detractors.

"You know how I feel about Thursday night games," Gurley told reporters Sunday after his team's 55-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I feel like they are the dumbest thing ever."

Gurley and the Rams face the Seattle Seahawks in a pivotal NFC West matchup Thursday night.

"It's never a good thing to be on a short week," Rams safety John Johnson added.

However, Gurley said the Rams should be ready to go against Seattle.

"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," he said. "They played on Sunday as well. ... We just have a quick turnaround to go up to Seattle."

NFL games on Thursday nights are a controversial topic. Many players and pundits have pointed out that the short week gives players less recovery time than they're accustomed to and increases the chances for injury.

Richard Sherman wrote for the Players' Tribune in 2016: "The NFL preaches player safety. The league says it wants to do everything in its power to protect its players. But when it comes down to it, it's not the players that the NFL protects. It's the Shield."

Given the shorter week to prepare, many Thursday night games end up being clunkers, as neither team comes out looking particularly sharp.

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As Sherman argued: "It's not the players' faults. Their bodies just aren't ready to play."

On the other hand, it's one more night of football in a country that craves the NFL. That, in turn, creates another unique revenue source for the league, which has sold the broadcast and streaming rights to the games. Amazon is reportedly paying the NFL $65 million this season to stream Thursday night games.

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