NFL owners approve Thursday Night Football flexing between Weeks 13-17

·2 min read

Despite John Mara’s vehement protests on behalf of football’s fans in March, the NFL’s owners approved flexing Thursday Night Football by the minimum amount of votes, 24-8, on Monday.

The NFL and Amazon are now allowed to flex a maximum of two games into Thursday Night Football from Week 13 through 17 in the upcoming season.

That’s in addition to a measure that passed in March allowing the NFL to schedule teams for two Thursday night games in a single season instead of one.

The Giants, Jets, Packers, Bears, Raiders, Lions, Bengals and Steelers all voted against the flexing proposal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but it passed anyway with 75% of the owners’ voting in favor.

The games must be flexed a minimum of 28 days prior to the date, which is more notice than the previously proposed 15-day period. And the rule change is billed as a “one-season trial.”

But in the event that the NFL and Amazon don’t flex the two games to Thursday this season, the measure would stay in place for 2024, too.

Mara was dismayed in March that commissioner Roger Goodell and the league had essentially bypassed the NFL’s executive council and health and safety committee to try and force through the measure for its streaming partner.

“At some point, can we please give some consideration to the people who are coming to the games?” an incredulous Mara said then. “People make plans to go to these games weeks and months in advance. And 15 days ahead of time to say, ‘Sorry, folks, that game you were planning on taking your kids to Sunday at one o’clock, it’s now gonna be Thursday night.’”

Mara obviously felt increasing the time period to 28 days still wasn’t enough. Unfortunately, placating a money-making partner took priority above anything for the NFL, which is nothing new.