Could NFL's "TNF" Slate Be Scaled Back Eventually Amid Rash Of Injuries To Stars?
A number of star NFLers have suffered injuries in recent weeks on "TNF," and ESPN's Chris Mortensen said the NFL's competition committee is going to "roll up their sleeves," and there is a "possibility of Thursday night games being reduced to the back end of the season again." More Saturday night games could be "mixed in on the nights colleges don't play in the month of December." Mortensen: "I could see beginning on Thanksgiving and going forward" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/12). ESPN's Adam Schefter said it was a "bad weekend for the NFL with the concussion issue" beginning Thursday night when Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was evaluated for one. The theme "carried through the entire weekend." Schefter: "The league has to look at it" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/13). ESPN's Matt Hasselbeck said of "TNF," "I don't have a problem with it. I think it has its pros and cons" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/12). CBSSN's Jason La Canfora said part of the reason the salary cap is where it is, is because "TNF" is a "slice of that revenue pie, not the biggest slice, but not the smallest either." La Canfora: "Could that be a give and take issue (in the next round of CBA talks)? Possibly. Could it be scaled back? Yes, but it's all horse trading." The NFLPA is "going to have to really prioritize health and safety, overall salary cap, where does that fit in and what are we comfortable with?" ("That Other Pregame Show," CBSSN, 11/12). Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin on Thursday said "TNF" should "be illegal" after the loss of CB Richard Sherman for the season. In Seattle, Matt Calkins wrote that "isn’t a novel argument among NFL players, but the carnage Thursday embodied what players have bemoaned for years." If that "wasn’t the archetypical example of what’s wrong" with "TNF," then that example "isn’t coming" (SEATTLE TIMES, 11/11).
POSITIVE SPIN: In San Diego, Kevin Acee wrote under the header, "Still Plenty To Enjoy Watching NFL." Many "consider this season to be something of a turd," but it is "not." The NFL is a "star’s league," but it "doesn’t have to be." The players are "still the best in the world at what they do," as they "do things the rest of us can’t" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/12). But in N.Y., Gary Myers wrote the NFL "stinks this year and has more problems than ever" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/12). YAHOO SPORTS' Jay Busbee wrote for a league "reeling from crises both external and self-inflicted," the loss of those players is a "devastating blow." Virtually every fan has "lost a key player from their team," and the NFL has "quite a problem on its hands" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/10).