Raiders’ Mark Davis pushes back on NFL Thursday night flex scheduling

(Update: Later on Monday, NFL owners approved the resolution to allow for flexing of “Thursday Night Football” games.)

EAGAN, Minn. – Mark Davis doesn’t flinch when expressing how he would address the possibility of flexible scheduling for late-season Thursday night games on Amazon.

“Just make the schedule and play it,” Davis, the Las Vegas Raiders owner, told USA TODAY Sports during a break Monday at the NFL owners meetings.

In other words, Davis is squarely in the camp of dissenting owners – a group led most notably by New York Giants co-owner John Mara – who don’t support the proposed scheduling tweak in primetime Thursday games that conceivably would provide the NFL’s new streaming partner with more attractive matchups later in the season.

“Absolutely not,” Davis said, when asked if he could support the additional flexible scheduling.

The matter, supported by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, was tabled from the previous owners meetings in Phoenix in March, as it fell two votes short of the 24 needed for approval, according to multiple reports.

Davis seemed resigned to the possibility that a watered-down version of the proposal will pass during the meetings this week, given a revision that would allow for a Thursday game to be flexed with a minimum of 28 days’ notice. The original proposal allowed for games to be moved with no less than 15 days’ notice.

Like Mara, who has called the idea “abusive” to fans, Davis is more concerned with accommodating the fans in the stands – and particularly those traveling from out of town – than he is for more attractive games streamed nationally.

As Davis pointed out it, it’s just as much of a potential inconvenience if a game is flexed into or out of a Thursday night.

“If you have a Raiders-Chargers game in Las Vegas scheduled for a Thursday,” Davis said, “and all of the fans driving from Los Angeles – the Raiders fans and all three Chargers fans – buy their tickets and book their hotels, how in the hell do you schedule it and now say, ‘Sorry, it’s now on Sunday?’ How in the hell do you do that?”

The 28-day window might be enough to push the proposal, through.

Several weeks ago, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper abstained. Now he appears to be in favor of the measure, though he did not reveal how he would vote.

“I wanted some changes,” Tepper told USA TODAY Sports as he hurried to a meeting.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a staunch proponent of the idea, told USA TODAY Sports that he believed there are enough votes for passage without revising the window from 14 days.

Davis, though, is still rather old-school. Although he allows that streaming is important for the NFL to accommodate when considering the future of viewing habits and platforms, the idea of flexing the schedule in response to particular unattractive matchups doesn’t sit well with him. He recalled a game from a few years ago when the Raiders went into a primetime game with a lousy record, but they upset the heavily-favored Kansas City Chiefs.

“Everybody should get the respect,” Davis said. “That’s the part I’m strong on.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.

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