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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) greets fans before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

The NFL's expansion of Thursday night football has drawn criticism from players around the league in recent years.

After high-profile injuries to Richard Sherman and other Seahawks during Seattle's Thursday night win over Arizona earlier this year, several Seahawks blamed the lack of time to get their bodies ready for action. 

None of the Saints have made those same pleas this week, but Saints quarterback Drew Brees is not a fan of Thursday night football. 

"No, not really," Brees said. "The time off after is good, but the rush to get ready, get your body ready, I don't think guys get too excited about it. The bottom line is everybody's got to do it. We play when we're told to play." 

Brees' thoughts were echoed by a few other players, who pointed out that the one positive is that every NFL team faces a Thursday night game at some point or the other.

"That is beyond my comprehension, beyond my knowledge, and I'm pretty sure the owners don't care what I think, as in I, singular," defensive end Cameron Jordan said. "Now, if we come together as a collective, sure. ... I'm not condemning it, and I'm not praising it. It's something we all have to deal with."

The truth is that most players are not fully recovered for kickoff on Thursday night, although Brees tries to use the power of self-persuasion to convince himself he feels good. 

"I tell myself I do, so I guess I do," Brees said. "Mind over matter."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.