Add Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to the list of active NFL players who hate Thursday Night Football and think it’s a lousy product all around.
Harris was asked about the quality of Thursday night games in a roundtable with ESPN’s Jim Trotter. Harris used the forum to slam the package.
“It’s bad, low quality,” Harris said. “I’m sorry. Guys are feeling their way into the game. The real game doesn’t start until the third quarter. The body’s not ready, you’re not physically ready to play at your peak performance. Mentally, you’re going into the game where you might be playing blind. Guys are cramming mentally.”
Harris isn’t the first player to complain about playing on Thursday nights and he certainly won’t be the last. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman used a more blunt term in December when he described Thursday Night Football as a “poop-fest.” Denver went 1-1 on Thursday Night Football, although one of those games was the season opener that the team had all offseason to prepare for. The Broncos also lost 21-13 in a sloppy Thursday night loss to the San Diego Chargers. That was the game coach Gary Kubiak missed after being hospitalized the weekend prior.
The fact of the matter is that everyone except the NFL itself realizes that Thursday night contests are typically hard to watch. And the color rush uniforms tend to only make the games more visually appalling. In 2016, only six of the 14 Thursday night games were decided by single digits while seven were decided by at least 14 points.
The players don’t like it, the fans don’t watch it, but the NFL might not ever care.