The latest installment of Thursday Night Football has given us yet another reason
why there shouldn’t be Thursday Night Football—and I’m not referring to the
Color Rush jerseys.
I’m talking about the 3.5-hour, injury-riddled mess of a football game that was
Seahawks vs. Cardinals. Seattle’s gutsy 22-16 victory saw the anti-TNF fervor
reach a boiling point as cornerback Richard Sherman – playing on 4 day’s rest –
suffered a torn Achilles, ending the 4-time Pro Bowler’s season. In effect,
Sherman’s injury pours even more salt on the already sodium-caked wounds of
both teams and fans, who’ve seen the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham,
J.J. Watt, and David Johnson lost for the season at the claws of the injury bug.
On the Seattle sideline, NBC cameras picked up an oddly composed Sherman
mouthing “I’m out for the season” amongst teammates, a scene that suddenly
infused the broadcast with an eerie prescience. Consider that nearly a year ago,
it was Sherman who penned his “Why I Hate Thursday Night Football” piece for
The Players’ Tribune: “I just don’t understand why the NFL says it’s taking a
stand on player safety, then increases the risks its players face by making them
play on Thursday, before their bodies are ready.”
And now it’s Sherman who limps away, with a functional Achilles and 105-game
(!) regular season appearance streak no longer intact. And yet, the Stanford
graduate was far from the lone Seahawk to leave Thursday’s game on the injury
Duane Brown (LT) – sprained ankle
Kam Chancellor (S) – stinger
C.J. Prosise (RB) – sprained ankle
Michael Wilhoite (LB) – calf
Jarran Reed (DT) – hamstring
Defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson and Frank Clark also left the game in the
fourth quarter after running into each other.
Ultimately, the ever-escalating angst against TNF continues to illustrate a clear-
cut division between NFL owners and everyone else. The players get hurt, the
fans get a barely watchable TV product, and the owners get to make their multi-
million dollar stacks a wee bit higher. I’m all for the mid-week remedy to my
football addiction, but it’s becoming apparent that the NFL is finally feeling the
effects of its own greed.