PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It is a dilemma which every team in the NFL has to face each season.
Since 2012, Thursday Night Football has become a full-season event. Every team in the league gets at least one Thursday night football game, which calls for a quick turnaround and limited preparation.
This week, the Eagles will travel to Carolina for a Thursday night showdown with the Panthers on CBS3 and WIP! Carson Wentz and the rest of the Eagles understand the emotional and physical challenge that lies ahead with a short week of preparation.
“It can be tough,” said Wentz. “I’m thankful that I feel pretty good, but I know a lot of guys are still recovering at this point. It can be taxing on your bodies a little bit, but we’ve got to do anything and everything we can to be ready on Thursday night.”
The Eagles had a light workout on Tuesday and will head to Carolina on Wednesday. Most players are still recovering from Sunday’s game and the challenge of another physical contest awaits with little time to prepare.
While many players accepted their fate, others such as Offensive Lineman Brandon Brooks admitted it won’t be easy on Thursday night.
“It’s terrible on our body,” Brooks said. “It’s a quick turnaround. You really don’t have time to recover. The best thing you can do is try to get a lot of hot tub and cold tub but realistically, by the time you get to the game on Thursday, is it really going to help that much? Probably not.”
For most NFL players, Tuesday is still a recovery period from a Sunday game. For the Eagles and the Panthers this week, Tuesday became a Friday on the schedule with the game just two days away.
For players such as Linebacker Jordan Hicks, the ability for the body to recover faster is key in preparation for Thursday’s game in Carolina.
“You’ve just got to recover quickly,” said Hicks. “I was up at eight o’clock the next morning after the game going to get acupuncture just to make sure that recovery process starts earlier. It is what it is. You don’t feel great om Tuesdays. As long as you stay on top of it by game time on Thursday, we’ll be all right.”
The week is also a challenge for the coaching staff. It can even be more difficult for a defense preparing for Cam Newton. The Carolina quarterback posses a dual threat and the Panthers’ Offense runs a variety of unique plays with Newton.
Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz is trying to keep his typical businesslike approach for the week.
“There’s going to be challenges,” Schwartz said. “I think that these would be challenges even if it was coming off a bye or an extra day, if it was a Monday night game and you had an extra day. It just happens to be a short week.”
Despite all the talk of the short week, Hicks believes it will be forgotten once the ball is kicked off in Charlotte.
“Adrenalin kicks in,” said Hicks. “You just kind of go. You just forget about all of that extra stuff and just go. That’s just the way the game is.”