Texans players don't like short week
In a game of inches, three days is an eternity.
But that’s the reality the Houston Texans will have to deal with as they have a short week to prepare to play the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Thursday after losing to the Patriots on Sunday.
“I really don’t like it, but it is what it is,” running back Ben Tate said. “Guess the good thing is we’re the only game on TV.”
"I'm not a big fan of it," Andre Johnson said. "I just think it's a quick turnaround. That's the thing I don't like about it."
Many Texans said it is difficult to get their bodies prepared for another football game with three fewer days to prepare. Tate, who has been dealing with cracked ribs, is one of the players who might be affected but he said he’ll just have to get in as much treatment as he can in the shorter week.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily conducive to player safety or anything like that but that’s what we negotiated and that’s what we’re doing,” offensive lineman Wade Smith said. “TV money pays us our contracts and so it’s just something that we have to do.”
None of the Texans who spoke to media on Monday in the locker room said they enjoyed playing on Thursday night. Instead, they seemed to see it as something they have to do when it’s their turn.
“If it was up to me, I’d probably stick to Sundays and Mondays,” offensive lineman Duane Brown said, “but you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Since 2006, NFL Network has aired Thursday Night Football. Brown normally watches the Thursday game with the rest of the offensive linemen during their weekly O-line dinner.
“It’s good for entertainment but it’s tough on you when it’s your go,” Brown said.
The set of Thursday games that has been around for a long time are Thanksgiving Day games. The Texans played one of those last year; they beat the Lions. That game was an early start, so they’ll actually have a few extra hours this year.
The biggest difference during the week is that everything the team does to prepare is condensed. Normally, the toughest day of practice physically doesn’t happen until Thursday; obviously, that can’t happen this week. And the Texans will also practice on Tuesday (their normal off day) this week.
The Texans have lost their last 10 games. They’ve lost their last six by seven points or fewer, so head coach Gary Kubiak said it’s actually a good thing the team has the chance to get back on the field a little quicker this week. Kubiak said with the way things have gone this season, he’d be OK playing every day.
Tate wasn’t buying it on Monday night.
“That’s easy for coach to say,” Tate said. “He don’t got to get hit every day. That wouldn’t be fun for me.”
Tate said he would be OK waiting for Sunday to get that next win but other Texans said they saw the positives in playing on Thursday as the team tries to get its first win in over two months.
“That’s the best remedy, man,” Brown said. “Not being able to sit too long and let everything set in, watching television or reading stuff. The best thing is to get back out there and have another crack at it. That’s the best thing about this business.”