Jon Beason shreds cruel, greedy NFL for Thursday games

Jon Beason’s body keeps failing him, and the veteran Giants linebacker is starting to vent some frustration on the NFL.

Beason missed most of last season and still doesn’t appear ready to play this year thanks to a sprained knee the ninth-year pro suffered in training camp, most likely leaving Big Blue shorthanded in the middle once again for Sunday’s home opener against the Falcons.

One of the reasons Beason probably won’t play versus Atlanta (he was listed as doubtful on the Giants’ official injury report) is they have such a short turnaround before facing the Redskins next Thursday at MetLife Stadium.

That predicament caused Beason to go off on the league for even scheduling Thursday games in the first place.

“[When] you decide to throw another football game into a week, it shows they don’t really care about the players,” Beason said as Big Blue went through one of Tom Coughlin’s new “recovery” Fridays instead of a normal practice.

“That’s just how I feel,” Beason added. “We’re still playing 16 games, whether we play two in a week or not. I know how I feel on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. To think you have to play a game on Thursday, it’s tough.”

Beason, 30, is upset because he wants to be out on the field Sunday — and the Giants’ shorthanded defense could certainly use the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

Beason, who also was a first-team All-Pro pick with the Panthers, was a surprise star for the Giants in 2013 after joining them early in the season. But injuries limited him to just four games last season, none after a Week 7 loss to Dallas.

Beason’s replacement last week and this week, second-year pro Uani’ Unga, struggled in the season opener against the Cowboys and was beaten by tight end Jason Witten for the decisive touchdown catch with seven seconds left that produced Dallas’ 27-26 victory.

While appearing pessimistic Beason would be allowed to play against the Falcons, Coughlin said Friday it “would be a good shot in the arm” if it happened.
“The players not unanimously but wholeheartedly voted him captain, so it would be a definite plus for us,” Coughlin said of Beason.

Beason said it was “extremely tough” to have to watch the Dallas loss from home on television.

“You’ve been dreaming about that game since the schedule came out,” Beason said Friday. “It’s the Dallas Cowboys, it’s Jerry’s World, it’s a divisional game, it’s a great opponent, they won the division last year.”

The idea that Beason might have to watch in street clothes again Sunday just because the NFL has the Giants and Redskins coming back on a short week for television purposes was too much for him to take Friday.

“It’s about money,” Beason said. “The game is growing, fans want to see football, and I get it. I just know from a player’s standpoint, it’s extremely tough to play in a Thursday night game.

“Your body is just beat up, especially when you play a late Sunday game or Monday game,” he added. “It’s an advantage for the next team. It’s just extremely hard to play on Thursdays.”

The only bright spot to Thursday games, Beason said, is the players on both teams are “all in it together.” The best solution to Beason short of a revolt by the NFL Players Association in the next labor agreement would be to have both Thursday opponents coming off a bye week.

“Some teams practice, some teams just walk-through,” Beason said of the abbreviated schedule for a Thursday game. “It’s a different philosophy for different teams. But I think it becomes very difficult to play on Thursday night. The good thing [now] is that a lot of times, it’s a level playing field.”

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