‘It’s Stupid’

Josh Sitton pointed out the obvious when he said Thursday night games are nothing but a money grab for the league. (Andrew Weber/USA TODAY)

The pain of playing three days early is not worth the gain of having three extra days off.

Every team in the league will play on Thursday. The Green Bay Packers’ turn is this week against the Minnesota Vikings.

Asked if there was any advantage to playing on Thursday, outside linebacker Clay Matthews simply said, “No.”

Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton was the Packers’ most vocal critic.

“It sucks, man. I hate it,” Sitton said on Tuesday, which was the Packers’ heavy-lifting day this week but typically their day off. “Felt like crap today. Probably feel like crap on Thursday. I think it’s stupid. I think it’s all about money for the NFL, obviously. That’s what this league is about, is about making money. Which is fine. I like to make money, as well. But, yeah, it’s tough on your body, tough on your head. Tuesdays is typically the day that your body feels the worst. I know for us, in the offensive line room, that’s what we always talk about. The second day, you always feel like crap. It’s tough getting out there on the practice field today. But, like you said, everybody’s got to do it. I’m glad we got it in Week 5 instead of Week 11 or 12, or whatever.”

Fortunately for the Packers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers benefitted from excellent pass protection against Chicago and comes into this game feeling relatively fresh. Contrast that to the situation in Minnesota, with rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater sitting out this weeks’ practices and being questionable for Thursday night.

Nonetheless, Rodgers understood Sitton’s point and said it was shared by many in the locker room.

“The guys who have contact every, single play, it’s tough on their bodies,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on ESPN Wisconsin. “I think it’s even tougher playing on Thanksgiving because then you’re 10, 11 weeks into it and then you have to play a short week. This may be a little bit easier since we’re only four weeks in, but every week you get into this thing you’re banged up. Like we always say, it’s a 100 percent injury rate in this league. Everybody has injuries they deal with. It’s just the severity and ability to play through them if that’s possible. It’s tough on the bodies, but we have a nice little break after this. Hopefully we can take care of business, get to 3-2 and have a nice relaxing weekend.”

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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