Friday, February 3, 2012
All NFL teams will get prime-time slot
ESPN.com news services
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL is increasing the number of Thursday night games so more of its teams can play in prime time.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said that there will be Thursday night games on the NFL Network from the second to the 15th week of the season, giving all of the league's teams a chance to appear in prime time on some outlet.
Those games will be in addition to the usual Sunday night and Monday night games, which tend to feature teams coming off good seasons.
"We think it's great for the fans, for the teams -- and great for the network," Goodell said.
Goodell revealed the television scheduling change at his state of the NFL news conference Friday.
He sidestepped a question about expanding the regular season schedule, saying it's something that would have to be evaluated along with the players.
Goodell also said the NFL will continue its work toward preventing concussions and other injuries and that what's been done so far is only a starting point.
Goodell said the league has done "a great deal" to make the game safer for players, and that will remain a priority. He said the league is "not done yet" and will not quit trying to make the game less dangerous for those who play it. The league is expanding its use of sideline TV replays to help doctors.
His comment came in response to an Associated Press story quoting a dozen former players who believe there was a culture of indifference toward concussions and other injuries in the NFL.
Goodell noted that the league has set aside a lot of money to help retired players.
Goodell further said he would like to see the NFL playing another regular season game in Mexico and that the league has a strategy to make the game "more successful on a global basis." The Rams and Patriots will play in London next season as part of that approach.
Asked about playing games in Latin America, Goodell said there's a great deal of interest there and he would like to get back to playing a regular season game in Mexico. He said it's "something we'd like to get done sooner than later."
Goodell said there are current discussions about setting up another game in Mexico.
The NFL Players Association has concerns about playing games in London and how the travel will affect players.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.