Brees slams NFL's Thursday carnage after Saints injury toll

Los Angeles (AFP) –


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has become the latest player to slam the NFL's Thursday fixtures after a slew of team-mates suffered injuries in his team's loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

A total of six Saints players limped out of the Saints' 20-17 defeat on Thursday, including running back Alvin Kamara and guard Senio Kelemete with concussions.

Linebacker A.J. Klein and safety Kenny Vaccaro suffered groin injuries while defensive end Trey Hendrickson picked up an ankle knock and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. an unspecified injury.

Brees said he is convinced the injuries are linked to scheduling which requires teams to suit up just four days after playing on a Sunday.

"It's 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night," Brees said.

"Do you understand what guys' bodies go through in a game? And then to have to turn around four days later and to play? Look at the injury studies: They're off the charts. They're off the charts. So is this smart as it pertains to guys' health and safety? No, absolutely not."

As well as the six players who exited the game, four other Saints players picked up knocks but returned.

Last month Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during a Thursday game.

Brees said he hoped the issue of games being played on Thursday nights would be addressed in the close season.

"I can sit here and tell you that no player likes putting himself at risk on four days' rest, to come and put their bodies through what they put them through in a game," Brees said.

"So you hope that it's addressed (this offseason), you hope that it's talked about and you hope that something is done about it.

"When you see guys go down, when you lose guys for what you think is unnecessary just because you put 'em at a much higher risk in such a quick turnaround, that gets you upset."

Brees is among several players to speak out about Thursday games. Last month Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger decried the midweek games as "miserable, terrible."

"They need to get rid of this game I think. Just play on Mondays and Sundays," Roethlisberger said.