Bills Veteran Issues Strong Response to Controversial NFL Change

Mitch Morse

Getty Mitch Morse calls out a defensive lineup during a Buffalo Bills game.

Buffalo Bills veteran Mitch Morse isn’t a fan of the NFL’s newest schedule change.

At the league’s annual meetings, owners approved a change to allow teams to play two Thursday night games on short rest within the same season. Brian Rolapp, the league’s executive vice president and chief media and business officer, said the intention was to get more primetime opportunities for the best teams.

“We’re interested in making sure that we get exposure for all of our clubs. We also believe that these national windows are for clubs that are playing well,” Rolapp said, via Pro Football Talk. “We want to put the best teams in the best windows.”

But the change drew some strong reactions, with Morse joining a number of others in speaking out against the new scheduling.

Mitch Morse Shares Disgust at NFL Change

The Bills center took to Twitter to share a tweet from NFL reporter Ari Meivor about the change, adding a vomiting emoji to show his apparent disgust.

Morse is likely sensitive to concerns over player safety, having health with a number of serious injuries in the past. As ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg noted, he has suffered six documented concussions, the latest one forcing him to miss the team’s win over the Chicago Bears in Week 16 last season.

Morse said he was glad to understand the league’s concussion protocol and knew what to expect, but admitted to feeling emotional over the injury.

“You know, at first it was a little emotional,” Morse said, via ESPN. ‘But you kind of get out of that. And then you get into the protocol, and you get into the everyday deal. You start feeling better, you understand that it’s just one of those things. It’s part of my story and my football story. Feeling healthy.”

Some teams, including the Bills, have already played multiple Thursday night games, though not all on short rest. Last season, the Bills played in the season-opening Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams then faced the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving on a short week, a game where they lost Von Miller to a season-ending ACL tear. The Bills then played again the following Thursday night, but on a full week of rest.

Others Join in Criticizing Schedule Change

Morse is not the only one speaking out about the rule change. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes joined in sharing an image in response, tweeting a facepalm emoji. reporter Andrew Mason said he believed the league should be moving the other direction, making it so all teams playing on Thursday night are coming off extra rest rather than less.

“The way to do Thursday Night Football is have every team on it once, always coming off of a bye week,” Mason tweeted. “This is not moving in the right direction.”

Hans Schroeder, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NFL Media, said the league looked at a number of factors before making the decision, and is still considering whether to allow games to be flexed into the Thursday timeslot.

“There was a lot of challenge to make sure we’re thinking through this thoroughly and have the best way to do this if we’re going to do it, and I think that’s the work we’ve got to do going forward is to come back and figure out what is that right model for potential Thursday night flex,” he said, via Pro Football Talk.

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