The NFL Doesn’t Need a Preseason
The preseason is exciting until the game starts. It counts for nothing, there is always a risk for injury to a star player even with limited reps and by the second half you’re watching guys that might be bagging groceries the following week.
If a team wrote out a projected 53-man roster at the start of training camp and then compared it to the roster after the preseason, it would most likely be very close. A lot of talent evaluation can be done at training camp.
NFL football is dangerous.
Even with the attempt to try and make the game safer, there is still a chance for injury. In the Browns and Eagles game on Thursday night, QB Tyrod Taylor hurt his wrist, QB Baker Mayfield took a shot to the head, CB Denzel Ward was taken out of the game with an injury and a few more guys were hurt. These are valuable players that need to be healthy for the regular season.
This is a problem for every team, every year. The Redskins lost RB Derrius Guice to an ACL tear and the Patriots are now without OL Isaiah Wynn with a torn Achilles. Who will be next to fall?
I’ve suggested in the past to cut it down to two games, one game for the starters and one game for the bubble guys, but even that is too much of a risk. We want the best players out there to start the regular season.
The reason why this will never happen is money. The NFL would lose revenue from 32 teams playing four games each, so 64 stadiums filled. That’s a lot of money and we know it’s all about money. What they could do is, in turn, extend the regular season two games, again, another argument for another day.
I do not enjoy football that counts for nothing and each time a player gets hit wincing at the fear of an injury in what is nothing but practice.
The downsides to this are backups would not get any game reps, even if it is a practice game. But they would still get reps in training camp. Additionally, some players who are “gamers” would be left off rosters that they should make because of the preseason games allowing them to show their worth.
The NFL should consider some limitations to preseason because they’ll never totally eliminated it.