Houston's Foster criticizes Thursday night games
HOUSTON (AP) -- Arian Foster isn't a fan of Thursday night games, and doesn't think anyone else is either.
Foster was asked what he thought about the midweek games as the Houston Texans prepare to meet AFC South foe Indianapolis in the weekly matchup this Thursday.
"Thursday night football is pretty - it's annoying for players," he said. "I don't know one player that likes it. I really don't know a fan that likes it, either. I think it's just the league's way of trying to generate more revenue."
And Houston's star running back, who is coming off a season-high 157 yards rushing in an overtime loss to the Cowboys, didn't stop there.
"They emphasize concussions when they start getting hit with lawsuits and they care about the players' safety, but Thursday night football is putting every player on the football field in danger," he said, referring to the NFL. "Nobody is ready to play physically after a Sunday game. But you've got to go out there and do it.
Players around the league have long criticized the Thursday games and Green Bay offensive lineman Josh Sitton said he hated the game days before his team faced Minnesota in last week's Thursday night game.
Since there is such a negative sentiment for the games around the league, the question becomes whether the NFL Players Association plans to approach the league about eliminating these games. Foster doesn't think that would help.
"Union and the league kind of same thing, man," Foster said. "So they do what they told."
NFLPA President Eric Winston, who played for the Texans from 2006-2011, said that he would never discourage Foster from speaking out, and that he hopes he becomes more involved in the union. He also addressed Foster's comment about the NFLPA and Thursday night games.
"We don't take health and safety things lightly, and we always address such protocols as we see fit," Winston said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We will always go with the medical data. If a majority of players say we need to get rid of this, it is not good, we are going to listen to this, and look into if it is time to make a change."
Meanwhile, first-year Houston coach Bill O'Brien is trying to find ways to limit the stress on his players and their bodies this week. He noted that his team isn't special and the Texans really can't complain about midweek games since every team in the league has to do it once a year.
"You have to do a good job of making sure they get the proper amount of rest," O'Brien said. "You really can't have a very physical week as far as the practice field is concerned. It's much more of a mental type of (preparation); trying to get ready for the game."
The game is Houston's first this season against a divisional opponent and with both teams entering the game with 3-2 records, the winner will have an early leg up on the AFC South race. Veteran left tackle Duane Brown agreed that the quick turnaround is tough, but said playing Indianapolis on Thursday should help.
"The good thing about the Colts is that we're very familiar with them," Brown said. "Of course you have a different game plan than we've had in years past, but as far as the personnel and things like that we kind of know what to expect. So that makes it a little bit easier, but it's never easy."
AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed to this report from New York.
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