BRONCOS

Hackett addresses giving his players Thanksgiving off and any concerns

Nov 23, 2022, 12:07 PM

Nathaniel Hackett...

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Broncos changed their schedule this week.

It makes sense, because it’s Thanksgiving on Thursday after all.

But this isn’t necessarily the norm in Denver or across the NFL. Six teams will play on the holiday, and almost everyone else practices. It’s hard to document, but the Broncos have practiced every Thanksgiving for as long as this guy can remember.

However, head coach Nathaniel Hackett changed the normal off day from Tuesday to Thursday this week so that guys can celebrate accordingly and be with their loved ones. At his press conference on Wednesday, Hackett was asked if he has any concerns about players leaving town or not being focused as a game with the Panthers on Sunday looms. He doesn’t expect that to be an issue, and noted guys could sneak out of town for 24 hours any week.

“No. The idea is to let the guys get with their families,” Hackett said. “I think that’s always so important for the guys to come together. A bunch of guys are going to have Thanksgiving dinners which I think is great. But, just like you said, it’s their off day and they can do that on Tuesday.”

At 3-7, the Broncos need all the practice and normalcy they can get. Particularly with a wacky slate to start the year, including games on Monday (twice), Thursday and in London, Hackett mentioned just a few weeks ago he was excited for a more normal schedule. The Broncos play nine Sundays in a row to end the season. Still, after his gripes, Hackett changed things this week.

“We want to make sure people are all together. We made that announcement anybody that doesn’t have a place to go, there’s tons of places to go. A lot of guys are setting stuff up within their positions. I think that’s so important. It’s great that the (rookies) families are here. It’s a different change from college to the NFL. I think what our organization does to acclimate those parents and have them part of it is a great thing,” Hackett said.

Denver hosted a “rookies parent’s weekend” for the Raiders game, and it sounds like a lot of those folks are still in town. That’s a nice gesture by the team.

Listen, if the Broncos were 7-3 this would be a non-story. But complaining about the schedule and then changing it has certainly raised a few eyebrows. Right now, nothing is working for Denver. So maybe the change will have them more ready to go in Carolina and feeling refreshed.

We’re grasping at straws here, but then again, so is Hackett and his coaching staff.

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