Matthew Slater is not a fan of Thursday Night Football

Ryan Hannable
October 10, 2019 - 11:42 am
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FOXBOROUGH -- While Tom Brady said earlier in the week he doesn't mind Thursday Night Football, most players are against it.

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One of those is Matthew Slater, who is also the Patriots' NFLPA player rep.

The special teams captain spoke on the issue Tuesday, as the Patriots were preparing for Thursday night's game against the Giants.

"You could be 22 years old -- it's (still) tough. Player safety, player health? This doesn't fit into that as far as I'm concerned," he said.

Slater added: "I know we've had a lot of discussions about it as a union. I know it's a good product as far as the consumers are concerned, and the fans enjoy these Thursday night products. But I think when you talk about the rigors of playing in an NFL game, and then what it takes to recover and be able to do it again the following week, to do a Sunday-to-Thursday turnaround is tough. It doesn't fit under the umbrella of player safety as far as I'm concerned. But you guys know that -- I've said that every year."

Playing at home helps, but not by much.

"It certainly gives you a couple extra hours of rest," Slater said. You get on a plane and there's dehydration, joints swelling up or what have you. I think it's nicer to play these games at home when you have the opportunity to do so. But I think it's equally challenging for both teams."

The Patriots have had a great deal of success playing on Thursday Night Football, and then they get a mini-bye afterwards -- even longer this year with their next game being on a Monday night (Oct. 22 against the Jets).

Related: Patriots may have to wait awhile for real schedule to begin