Following a handful of injuries in his team's 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees took aim at Thursday Night Football games when speaking with reporters.
Brees said Thursday games are "absolutely" unsafe — due to little rest players receive after Sunday games — and he thinks the NFL's high injury rate is "One-hundred percent a product of playing on Thursday night."
"Do you understand what guys' bodies go through in a game?" Brees told reporters, via the The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. "And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? ... Is this smart as it pertains to guys' health and safety? No, absolutely not."
As a longtime players' union leader, Brees said he plans to have the issue "addressed."
"When you see guys go down, when you lose guys for what you think is unnecessary just because you put them at a much higher risk in such a quick turnaround, that gets you upset," he said.
The Saints (9-4) suffered a slew of injuries on Thursday, including running back Alvin Kamara, who left in the first quarter due to a concussion. Other New Orleans injuries included safety Kenny Vaccaro (groin), linebacker A.J. Klein (groin), guard Senio Kelemete (concussion) and defensive end Trey Hendrickson (ankle).
Brees joined a long list of players who have publicly blasted Thursday games. Seattle's Doug Baldwin said last month that Thursday games should be "illegal" after his teammate Richard Sherman suffered a season-ending achilles tear Nov. 9 against the Arizona Cardinals in a Thursday game.