Thursday Night Game Hinders Ravens’ chances vs Steelers


Much has been said about the Thursday night game addition that every team must play at least once throughout the season. It is evident that almost all coaches around the league are against the change. I would also assume that fans are overall against it as well.

While a Thursday night game seems like a prime time affair, it feels nothing like that as a fan when I am watching the Ravens or any other game on that particular night. In this particular clash between historic rivals, the Thursday night schedule leaves the Ravens without two of their starters that most likely would have played this weekend if the game would have been scheduled on Sunday or Monday.

Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore, who has been fantastic this season and is having somewhat of a breakout campaign, will not be available for the game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Gillmore’s absence will be a huge loss for the Ravens on Thursday. Last season, in the AFC Wild Card playoff game, Gillmore made his presence known against the Steelers by scoring a twenty-one yard touchdown. Joe Flacco and Steve Smith Sr. have a brilliant connection this season. Surprisingly, Gillmore has been Flacco’s second-favorite target this season. He has the second-most receiving yards on the team and is top ten in receiving yards by all tight ends this season.

Gillmore will mainly be missed on third down situations and will force options like Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and rookie tight end Maxx Williams to step up this week. 

More from Baltimore Ravens

Another key scratch that will hurt the Ravens this week is starting left tackle Eugene Monroe. Last year’s undrafted rookie, James Hurst, has been his replacement since Monroe went down early in the Week 1 contest against the Broncos with a concussion; and it has not been pretty. Hurst continually gets beaten by whoever he is matched up with. I expect James Harrison to be very excited to line up across from Hurst on Thursday night. Even in the Ravens’ playoff win against the Steelers, Hurst was beaten time and time again by Harrison.

Monroe was limited in practice all week, which usually means on Sunday he would play; but because the game is on Thursday night, there was no chance for him to play.

This article was not written to make excuses, because injuries are a part of the game. Even the Steelers have injured players that could have had a chance to play on Sunday, like last year’s first-round selection Ryan Shazier — who would have had a much better chance to play on Sunday than Thursday. I feel that fans and teams are penalized unjustly if their best team cannot be put out there on a certain night, but three days later they could have. We know every win and loss counts in the NFL, because on any given Sunday a team can win or lose.

This Thursday night affair especially hurts the Ravens who have had their worst start in franchise history at 0-3 and desperately need a win this week to keep any slim hope of playoffs alive. Due to Thursday night scheduling, they will have to accomplish that feat without two of their key starters against a very good 2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers team.

Next: Matt Forte Would be Perfect Fit in Baltimore

More from The Baltimore Wire