Yesterday was the only way Thursday football should be consumed. You had 3 meaningful games*, played when the vast majority of American viewers could sit down and enjoy them all.
I wrote about this 3 years ago, but then saw an article in which John Madden had pretty much said the same thing as I did. He even had a viable solution: Give the teams a bye week before. I said a similar thing involving football played in London. My solution for Thursday night football though, keep it special. Simply limit it to Thanksgiving. It really is the perfect day, the only day it should be consumed.
The other option, is what they do near the end of the football season–have Saturday afternoon and night games. I would do this in week 16 and 17. It would get you, and the teams ready for playoff football. These games would be flexed though. Only playoff teams, or those on the verge of making the playoffs. College football will be over for the most part, in late December. You maybe up against a bowl game or two, but those are usually the sub-par bowl games.
I think the fans have been speaking volumes about their want for Thursday night football. Look at the ratings. I know the players don’t like it. The coaches don’t like it. It is most certainly not healthy for the players.
If they want to keep it, then I second Madden’s idea, but I would give teams a second bye, just for their Thursday night contest. I would limit it to a six week period leading up to Thanksgiving Day. I would also let those teams carry an extra 5 men on their roster during that time. There is no way they can be serious about player safety if they keep pushing them to slam heads on just three days rest. It’s actually disgusting, and an insult to our intelligence.
*If Andrew Luck had been able to play, it would have been closer. Besides, Le’Veon gave me 20 fantasy points!