FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse watched his former teammates play Thursday night. It’s a wonder his sleep wasn’t racked by nightmares.
Yes, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals, 22-16, but the Seahawks' next injury report will be standing room only.
Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, Kam Chancellor and former Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson were all injured and star cornerback Richard Sherman was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon.
And that’s just on defense. Running back C.J. Prosise also went down.
Kearse’s thoughts on the NFL continuing to play on Thursday night? Not For Long.
“I can’t speak on the majority of the players, but I can speak for myself, and I don’t think it’s helpful,’’ Kearse said.
Kearse was interviewed just minutes after Jets running back Matt Forte discussed the nagging right knee injury that will keep him out of this Sunday’s game against the Bucs in Tampa.
“You’re asking guys who play at a high volume on one day, literally give it their all on that one day, and then ask them to try to recover and bounce back in a couple of days,’’ Kearse said. “It’s kind of tough, especially when you’re already dealing with certain stuff from previous weeks that may be nagging or lingering. That can be tough.’’
Forte’s right knee swelled up after the Jets beat the Bills, 34-21, last Thursday. Forte rushed a season-high 14 times for 77 yards (also a season high) and had four receptions for 19 yards.
“Obviously, going from a Sunday game to a Thursday game, there’s less recovery time and it just got worse,’’ Forte said.
Eliminating Thursday night games seems like a no-brainer from the players' perspective.
“This game is 100 percent injury rate,’’ Kearse said. “That’s the truth.”
The owners probably have a different take. CBS and NBC agreed last February to pay about $450 million each to televise Thursday night games over the next two seasons. That’s a cool $900 million that would be eliminated.
“I think there definitely has to be a discussion, for sure,’’ Kearse said when asked if the elimination of Thursday night games should be discussed when the next collective bargaining agreement is negotiated.
“Just finding better ways of taking care of players. Guys are putting their bodies on the line, day in and day out, even through practice.
“I mean, you see [Texans quarterback] Deshaun Watson, who has a significant injury during practice and not even in the game. So I think there definitely has to be a discussion on it.’’