New Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson is not a fan of the team’s schedule, or at least a part of it.
With the NFL schedule fully released on Thursday night, Peterson reacted to the team’s 17-game slate on his All Things Covered Podcast with former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden.
The thing that stood out to Peterson was the Steelers’ pair of games on Thursday Night Football.
“It’s tough enough getting up for the first Thursday night game, better yet another one,” Peterson said.
The Steelers will host two Thursday Night Football games at Acrisure Stadium this season, on Nov. 2 against the Tennessee Titans and on Dec. 7 against the New England Patriots. The team will play four prime-time games in total, three of them at home.
When the NFL first started playing games on Thursday nights, teams could only play once per season and every team played once. For 2023, the league changed those rules to allow teams to play twice on Thursdays, and eliminating the requirement that every team plays a prime time game. Those changes came in regard to criticism of the Thursday Night Football product, which featured a number of subpar matchups during its first season on Amazon Prime in 2022.
“Football is the No. 1 sport,” Peterson said, acknowledging the media landscape. “They want to make sure that the product is being shown all the time.”
But for the 13-year veteran the idea of two short weeks in one season is something to dread. Furthermore, the Steelers will have their bye in Week 6, well before playing on short rest in Weeks 9 and 14. SO for veteran players like Peterson, rest and recovery will have to be a significant focus late in the 2023 season.
“They want to find ways to get ball on TV, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to think about our bodies,” Peterson said. “Especially with me being in Year 13, my body doesn’t recovery like it used to. … To have two Thursday Night Football games, I think, is a bit bizarre.”