As part of a series of new rules and policies instituted during the NFL owners meetings this week, the league will now regularly allow teams to appear in multiple Thursday Night Football games in the same season.
Previously, the league seldom allowed teams to play on multiple Thursdays with a short week of preparation as a nod to player safety. Therefore, this decision is likely to be unpopular with players.
Thursday Night Football games have led to criticism of the league’s regard for player safety, as athletes are usually competing on just three days rest.
The rule change may be a precursor to the NFL eventually allowing flex scheduling for Thursday Night Football, which would force teams into short weeks with as little as 14 days notice ahead of the game. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the vote on whether to allow flexing Thursday games will take place in May.
Teams that end up playing in multiple Thursday Night Football games on short rest will no doubt be upset over that schedule. It remains to be seen what effect the plan might have on injury frequency.