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Friday, March 23, 2012

If the NFL really wanted to keep players healthier…

Much handwringing over the NFL concern/lack of concern for player safety, and about the penalties handed out for the Saints bounties, and for player concussions.

Some have noted it ironic that the NFL is, on the one hand, getting religion about safety and on the other hand considering expanding the season to 18 games from the current 16. (in 1960 the seasons were 12 games, but have been twice expanded).  The more games, the more wear and tear on the players.

I have a simple solution: expand the season to 18 games, but allow each player to play in a maximum of 14. The 14 may be because the player is injured, or the player may just be sitting out resting.  Kickers would be exempt.

The players wouldn’t be named ahead of the game.  So there would always be tension in games where star players were sitting but the team was close in the 4th quarter – should they bring in the stars or not?  Coaches would get even more chances to show they are geniuses.  Reserves would get to play more. In fact, there would probably have to be a few more roster spots created, which would give more opportunity to potential stars.

The players would play less than they do now, so their health would be no worse – perhaps  better not only from fewer games but more times during the season when they would get two weeks to heal.

Backup quarterbacks would get to play more, so they would be more prepared to take over when the starting quarterback got injured – unlike this year, when the Bears turned out to have no credible backup to Jay Cutler at all.

Looks like a win-win to me.