Roger Goodell defends possibility of flex scheduling Thursday night

The NFL will resume discussion of flex scheduling for Thursday Night Football in May thereafter don’t have the votes to approve the league’s proposed action on Tuesday.

The league wants the leeway to move late-season games from Sunday to Thursday with 15 days’ notice to ensure better matchups for Amazon.

Giants co-owner John Mara chimed in after the meeting ended, calling the proposal “really inconsiderate of our season ticket holders” and “abusive.”

“Listen, there’s nobody in this room, none of our organizations, that doesn’t put our fans first. That’s really important,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell replied. “Obviously, providing our fans with the best matchups is part of our job. That’s part of what I think our planning has always focused on, and Flex was part of that. We’re being very sensible about it and being very careful about it, and we’re looking at all the implications. So before these decisions are made, I think we have about a year and a half of flexibility over the years that we’ve been doing it. It can vary in each individual year. So it’s very important for us to strike a balance between season ticket holders and the stadium markets, but we have millions of fans who also watch on TV so it’s a balance that you always achieve and make sure we get it right make.”

In 2006, the NFL introduced a flexible Sunday night schedule during the postseason. Postseason Monday night flexing is available for the first time this season.

On Tuesday, owners approved teams to play in two short weeks during the season. That means teams can play two short-rest Thursday night games in the 2023 season.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes reacted negatively to the decision on social media.

“I don’t think we put Amazon above our players,” Goodell replied. “We have always collected data on injuries and the impact on players. That informed our decisions over the first 12 years of Thursday Night Football and its evolution. I think the data is very clear: it doesn’t show a higher injury rate. But we recognize shorter weeks. We’ve been through this with COVID too. We had to be very flexible. These are of course different circumstances, but we are working very closely on it.

“I also hear directly from a lot of players. They love the 10 days after. In fact, they call it a mini bye, so there are perks to that. They have different views. We want to take them all into account. Players have their views. Coaches have their opinions. We have to try to balance it all.”

Roger Goodell defends possibility of flex scheduling Thursday night originally appeared on Pro football talk

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