The New Orleans Saints lost six players to injuries during a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and quarterback Drew Brees sounded off after the game, saying the reason is "100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night."
New Orleans lost player after player throughout the game and they did not return: running back Alvin Kamara and guard Senio Kelemete with concussions; linebacker A.J. Klein and safety Kenny Vaccaro with groin injuries; defensive end Trey Hendrickson with an ankle injury; and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with an unspecified injury.
Brees voiced his opposition to playing NFL games on Thursday night with short rest.
"It's 100 percent a product of playing on Thursday night," Brees told reporters after the game. "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."
Four other Saints players left briefly with injuries but returned to the game.
Brees joins a growing list of NFL players who have spoken out against "Thursday Night Football."
"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."
Saints coach Sean Payton was asked after the game why he thinks there were so many injuries.
"What do you guys think? Seriously, speak up," Payton said. "What do you guys think? Why do you think there were so many injuries tonight? Anyone?"