BOSTON (CBS) — Richard Sherman has a stronger case than ever against Thursday Night Football after what happened to him against the Cardinals. The Seahawks cornerback ruptured his Achilles tendon on Thursday night and will miss the rest of the season.
The injury comes less than a year after Sherman published a piece in The Players Tribune called “Why I Hate Thursday Night Football”. Despite crudely referring to Thursday night games as a “poopfest,” the corner made a number of salient points as to why it’s not beneficial for the players. But he still gets why they exist: an extra night of football will always bolster the league’s bottom line, regardless of the quality of the product.
“The NFL preaches player safety,” Sherman wrote. “The league says it wants to do everything in its power to protect its players. But when it comes down to it, it’s not the players that the NFL protects. … It’s the Shield.”
The bulk of Sherman’s piece takes you through a normal week of preparation for a Sunday game, comparing it to the abbreviated prep time for a game on TNF. Strikingly, he says you’re typically “starting to get right” by Friday and “ready to go” by Saturday.
Even though he acknowledges that Thursday night games won’t go away as long as they are another cash cow for the NFL, the always-outspoken Sherman wasn’t afraid to paint the league as hypocrites.
“Thursday Night Football is just another example of the NFL’s hypocrisy: The league will continue a practice that diminishes the on-field product and endangers its players, but as long as the dollars keep rolling in, it couldn’t care less,” he wrote.
Sherman avoided going off on TNF in his postgame comments, admitting that he had been battling an Achilles injury for weeks and that it was a matter of time before it ruptured.
“I knew what was happening,” he said. “It has been bothering me all season. It was one of those things you just had to play through as long as you can, then when it goes, it goes.”
Sherman also thanked his two million-plus Twitter followers for their support:
His teammate, receiver Doug Baldwin, was not shy about sharing his thoughts on TNF. He said the games “should be illegal” in reaction to playing through a pulled quad muscle that he suffered during pre-game workouts. Quarterback Russell Wilson also appeared to suffer a head injury, which could have been a false alarm, and safety Kam Chancellor also went to the Seahawks medical tent late in the fourth quarter.
Sherman and Baldwin are far from the first players to criticize TNF for forcing unprepared, banged-up teams into games that often result in sloppy play and rampant injuries. Bills guard Richie Incognito went on a profane tirade on Thursday games after his team lost to the Jets last week.
The rash of injuries and criticism resulting from TNF broadcasts could eventually force the NFL to reconsider the way they schedule the games, or scheduling them at all.