Richard Sherman has two words for the NFL making guys play on Thursday following a Sunday game.
The Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback feels more strongly than that about it, “but I didn’t want to curse. I know Mom is listening.”
“It’s freakin’ terrible,” Sherman said Tuesday, two days after his team lost at Green Bay -- and two days before Seattle (8-4-1) kicks off again, at home against the Los Angeles Rams (4-9). “We played, freakin’ got home at like 1 in the morning, something like that, on Monday. Then we’ve got to play again.
“I mean ...”
Sherman shook his head and lowered his voice tone to deadpan.
“Congratulations, NFL. You did it again. But they’ve been doing it all season (with weekly Thursday-night games). I guess we’re the last ones to get the middle finger.”
The reason for games on Thursday night is, of course, is money.
This past offseason the league hit a jackpot: a reported $900 million combined from NBC and CBS to broadcast Thursday night games in the 2016 and ‘17 seasons. That means having the Rams play at the Seahawks Thursday is netting the NFL $45 million.
“It’s just no regard. It’s hypocritical, as I’ve stated before. You know, they make this huge stance about player safety. Then you put the players in tremendous danger.
“Your body is going to recover how it recovers every other week. You can’t speed it up any more than you normally would. You’ve just got to deal with it. It’s just one of those things. Part of the job.”
I asked Sherman how recovered his body will be by Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. kickoff at CenturyLink Field.
“As recovered at it would be any other Thursday,” he said. “You know, probably 50, 60 percent.”
Sherman, a member of the executive council within the NFL players’ union, repeated his belief the league is “hypocritical” in regards to player safety with staging Thursday night games.
“Players know, but everybody’s banged up, everybody is moving slower so it’s not really going to show to the naked eye,” Sherman said.
Defensive end Cliff Avril and wide receiver Doug Baldwin said Seahawks began what is usually their day-after or Tuesday recovery steps on the team’s plane home from Wisconsin Sunday night. Avril said he iced both knees from his seat. Baldwin had an electric-stimulation machine attached to his pained points.
Baldwin said when the team bus from SeaTac Airport returned to Seahawks’ headquarters after midnight early Monday morning, many players went straight inside to the hot whirlpool and cold tubs instead of home to sleep, as they do any other weekend.
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner got up a couple hours after returning home Monday morning and did yoga.
All trying to accelerate a healing process from an NFL game, what most liken to being a 80-play car wrecks. Baldwin said his body will just be feeling normal again -- just in time to go back into the car wrecks.
Some point out it’s a plus on the backside for teams that play Thursday night, because of the 10 days between that game and the following one. The Seahawks will have nine days after the Rams game, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday off this weekend, before they host Arizona on Christmas Eve.
“Yeah, that’s a plus,” Baldwin said with a wry smile, “but hopefully you make it to those 10 days.”
As Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett told me: “The good thing is everyone is hurtin’ (including the Rams, who got smacked 42-14 by Atlanta on Sunday). So it’s fair.”
“Options include (but aren’t limited to) getting rid of Thursday games completely and possibly starting the package at Thanksgiving and continuing it through the end of the season...,” PFT wrote.
Each of the NFL’s 32 teams plays once on Thursday night during the 17 weeks of the regular season.
Does the union see a possibility of Thursday night games going away before the current collective bargaining agreement ends in 2020?
“They do not. They do not. But we will be well aware come the next CBA negotiations about things like this,” Sherman said. “There’s really not much you can do right now. It’s part of the revenue, etcetera, etcetera.
“And I’m sure has probably something else up its sleeve. They might have a Friday night game planned. Who knows?”