The NFL did not have enough support to approve a proposal for flex scheduling of Thursday Night Football games when it was taken to a vote on Tuesday, and will now reportedly try again in May, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer.
The proposed rule from the league would provide the NFL the ability to flex late-season games from Sunday to Thursday with a 15-day notice for its Amazon streaming package.
“I don’t think we are putting Amazon over our players,” Goodell said on Tuesday. “We’ve always been going at data with respect to injuries and the impact on players. That drove our decisions throughout the first 12 or so years of Thursday Night Football and how it’s evolved. I think the data is very clear. It doesn’t show a higher injury rate. But we recognize shorter weeks. We went through this with COVID, too. We had to have a lot of flexibility. Those are obviously different circumstances, but we work very closely on that.
“I hear from a lot of players directly, too. They love the 10 days afterward. In fact, they call it a mini-bye, so there are benefits on that. You have different views. We want to consider all of them. Players have their views. Coaches have their views. We have to try to balance all of that.”
Count Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes among the players who are opposed to the potential for a second Thursday night game every season, which he made known with a tweet on Tuesday.
Giants co-owner John Mara was extremely vocal in his opposition of the flex scheduling as well.
“People have gotten used to going from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night; that doesn’t mean that they like it,” Mara said. “This year, we could be flexed to Monday night, which I think is really inconsiderate to our ticket holders. To flex a game back to Thursday night, to me, is just abusive. I am adamantly opposed to it. Fortunately, it didn’t get enough votes today, but it will probably be revisited in May.”
It remains to be seen whether or not the proposed rule will garner enough support once it is revisited later this spring. Regardless, it sounds like this won’t be the last we hear about the potential for games to be flexed in and out of the lineup for Thursday Night Football.