You might recall in the aftermath of the Bills' loss to the Jets on Thursday Night Football this season, guard Richie Incognito referred to the Thursday games as "absolutely ridiculous."
"As physical as this game is and as much preparation that goes into this, to force us to play games on four-day weeks, it's completely unfair and bull----. Whatever. The league makes money off of it, and that's all they care about anyway," he said after the Week 9 game.
At least on the physical toll of the games, he now has some data to back him up.
The NFL released its injury data for the season and it showed a year-over-year increase in injuries during Thursday night games. According to the league, an average of 6.9 injuries were reported during Thursday games compared to 5.3 injuries per game last year. Moreover, the 6.9 is higher than the 6.3 injuries reported per game for Sunday and Monday games.
"The injury rate is certainly one important metric to track, but it doesn't tell the complete story," Dr. Allen Sills, the league's chief medical officer, said last week, per NFL.com. "And it's a point of emphasis for us. It's something that we want to continue to take a very deep dive into, meaning that we're going to look at all of these other data factors and try to get a more complete understanding of that question because we know it's important to the players, also important to the medical staffs, coaches and all of us."
Also of concern to the league, a 13.5 percent increase in the number of diagnosed concussions from 2016 to 2017 in the preseason and regular season. The number of concussions increased from 243 to 281, according to the report. Of those, 28 percent were self-reported by the players, an increase of 9 percent.
The number of reported concussions in preseason practices went from 26 to 45, and that will be a point of emphasis for the league's health and safety advisory committee, according to a news release.