There are plenty of interesting quirks to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2023 schedule, most notably the amount of primetime games the franchise will play this fall.
Two of those four primetime games will come on Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, which has veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson a bit miffed.
Pittsburgh will play the Tennessee Titans in Week 9 at Acrisure Stadium on Nov. 2, and then will host the New England Patriots in Week 14 on Dec. 7 at Acrisure Stadium for Thursday Night Football matchups on Amazon.
Appearing on his podcast “All Things Covered” with co-host and cousin Bryant McFadden, Peterson expressed some frustration with the Steelers having not one, but two Thursday Night Football games in 2023.
“I thought it was just a rumor when they [NFL] said they were gonna have teams eligible now for two Thursday night games,” Peterson said, according to video via the podcast’s YouTube page. “…My goodness, bro. That’s what, five weeks apart? It’s tough enough getting up for the first Thursday night game, better yet another one.
“I get it, they want to find ways to get ball on TV, but they need to be thinking about our bodies, man. Me being in Year 13, my body doesn’t recover like it used to. Some guys, their body doesn’t recover, period. To have two Thursday night games is a bit bizarre.”
Thursday Night Football, while fun for the fans — at least hypothetically — is largely despised by players as those matchups come just four days after teams competed in a game on Sunday, putting their bodies through the ringer.
It’s tough for players to play a game and be in what amounts to a car crash 100 times a game, and then all of a sudden have to try and recover quickly and get ready for another battle in four days. It’s not really safe for the players, but it certainly makes the league a lot of money, and in the end that’s what drives the decision.
Fortunately for the Steelers, they will again be one of the youngest teams in the league, which might give them a slight advantage in the Thursday night matchups as the younger bodies might recover faster, but two Thursday night games in one season is a bit much. Hopefully the NFL starts to listen to its players more, and gets rid of the two TNF eligibility criteria moving forward.
It’s a disaster waiting to happen.