Is Thursday night football the worst idea since toll roads? USA Today found a bunch of players - including including Eagles defensive end Trent Cole - who talked of troubles healing and getting prepared in time.

Cole said he'll flip a mental switch to ignore his lingering aches and lagging energy as the Birds take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Lincoln Financial Field.

"The mind takes over the body. That's how you have to do it," he said.

"If they are really concerned about the violence and injuries . . . Why is there Thursday night football?" asked Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed.

"Oh, it's horrible," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, talking about players coping with injuries.

Eagles tight end Brent Celek, who suffered a concussion in Sunday's Tampa Bay game, is mentioned in a section about key players who have to skip Thursday games for lack of recovery time.

The Bengals's bye week, back in October, was partly used to prepare for tonight's game, Lewis said.

The road team is usually at a disadvantage, especially in non-divisional matchups. Witness the Eagles surrendering in Seattle to the Seahawks, 31-14, last Dec. 1.

The league counters that its stats show no spike in injuries because of Thursday games.

But stats served up by USA Today back the idea of sloppy play:

More turners: 3.9 on Thursdays vs. 3.1 on other days.

Fewer comebacks: On average, only about 1 in 5 Thursday games has a second-half lead change. That's less than half the rate of other games.

The margin of victory is also a little higher on Thursdays.

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