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Tony Gonzalez: Thursday Night Football is 'not healthy' for players

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez says that Thursday Night Football is 'not healthy' because of the limited recovery time for the players involved.

Rob Carr

There may be a lot of attention on Thursday's game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez criticized the Thursday Night Football games for their short turnaround time which does not give teams who played on Sunday a decent chance to recover:

"It's extremely hard. It's not healthy. I'm not a big advocate for it. I understand why they do it. It's for the money. It's not the best thing for football players. There's a reason they do them a week apart. That's why they've been doing it that way for a long time, so guys can recover.

Specifically with all the controversy going around about concussions in the NFL, Gonzalez knows that the common sense thing is to have a longer period of time of rest in between games to lower the risk of injuries:

"If you look at the statistics, recovery and time, there is a lot of science out there supporting that your body needs a lot more rest as an NFL football player, than going and playing on Thursday if you played a Sunday game. I'm not going to get caught up in it. It's common sense. They know. Everybody knows.

Gonzalez does acknowledge why the NFL runs games on Thursdays and realizes that he has to be ready to play come Thursday night:

We can complain about it all we want, but we still have to go out there and play and kickoff at 8:20 or whatever time it is. We've got to be ready to go and we will. We'll be ready."

The Falcons play the Saints at the Georgia Dome on Thursday night with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on the NFL Network and the game will have a radio broadcast on WSTR Star 94 FM and WQXI 790 AM "The Zone".

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.