The NFL League Meeting sometimes leads to offseason deals between general managers, but the purpose of it is to discuss different rules and vote on potential changes.
One of those new changes was announced last night, and it drew a response from Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II on Twitter. The 33rd Team NFL insider Ari Meirov relayed the decision, informing: “The NFL announced that teams can now have two [Amazon Prime] Thursday Night Football games per season. Limit was one. Now that’s changed.”
He added that “flexing for TNF is not happening … for now.” Mahomes then quote tweeted that piece of information with a short but clear reply: “🤦🏽♂️.”
Players have been against the idea of Thursday Night Football for a long time, complaining that the short week leads to injuries and safety concerns. Coaches and analysts have also speculated on whether or not it takes away from the on-field product, considering there is significantly less time to prepare.
Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney noted that these “efforts [of change by the league] are to get more competitive games on Amazon Prime, which paid an exorbitant amount of money for exclusive rights to the game.”
Roger Goodell Responds to Patrick Mahomes & Player Outrage
Mahomes wasn’t the only player to react to this news publicly — more on that below — but he was the biggest name to do so as the reigning MVP and face of the NFL. Because of that reputation, Commissioner Roger Goodell must have felt the need to offer Mahomes and all players an explanation, or perhaps he was asked to by reporters.
Either way, Meirov detailed Goodell’s retort, tweeting: “Roger Goodell on Patrick Mahomes’ tweet: ‘I don’t think we’re putting Amazon over our players. … The data doesn’t show higher injury rate.’. … I hear from players who also love the 10 days after a Thursday Night game. We have to try to balance all of it.'”
Needless to say, this justification only appeared to make things worse with those opposing the rule change. And this situation could continue trending downhill if the ability to flex Thursday night games is allowed.
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero provided some more information on that portion of the potential alterations, stating: “The Thursday Night Football flex scheduling proposal was tabled until May, per NFL EVP/Chief Media and Business Officer Brian Rolapp.”
NFL Players Rally Around Safety Concerns Amid TNF Changes
As mentioned above, Mahomes was not alone in his disapproval. San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle was one of the more vocal athletes on Twitter.
“No thanks Ari! You can do the just kidding tweet now,” Kittle commented under Meirov’s initial reveal. Later, after Goodell’s message he tweeted again: “@NFLPA can we not? Thanks.”
Defensive lineman Shelby Harris then questioned the player safety claims from the league. “How does this make any sense but you know ‘player safety is our main concern’ [shaking my head].”
Former NFL QB Robert Griffin III also chimed in, “so much for player safety,” after Mahomes got involved, and long-time NFL D-tackle Earl Mitchell voiced: “I hated Thursday night games. So hard on the body.”
Ex-Chiefs center Mitch Morse also barfed via emoji, and Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay had a very strong reaction, writing: “Hell naw… we need to take that s*** away!”
Although NFL fans appeared to be split on this rule change, most realized that the flex idea is bad for everyone.
“Flexing TNF games is an absolute disaster for fans who made travel arrangements well ahead of time,” one popular response read. “TNF games should only be played after a bye week.”