Clemens: It’s time to shut down the NFL preseason
Daric Clemens is a senior journalism news major and is a columnist for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Daric at firstname.lastname@example.org.
America’s most watched sport is inching closer to its regular season kick-off but some NFL teams will be heading into the season short-handed.
What do fans have to thank for their favorite teams weakened rosters for the 2019-20 football campaign? Simple, the NFL Preseason.
These pointless games continue to be played yearly with each team participating in four total exhibitions to supposedly prepare them for the contests that matter.
However, we have seen the exact opposite as the Houston Texans saw their star running back carted off the field and it later being confirmed he had torn his ACL and MCL after taking a low hit against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday. Carolina Panthers former MVP quarterback Cam Newton has been sidelined for multiple weeks after tweaking his ankle. Detroit Lions starting linebacker Jarrad Davis and starting center Frank Ragnov both went down with injury in week three of the preseason
These are just some of the notable injuries that have occurred in the 2019 preseason as the list continues to grow with still one more week remaining according to NFL Injuries updated list. These are key injuries that could be avoided if the preseason games were just thrown away completely.
Majority of the time, the preseason games are meant to be a time where coaches evaluate new players that are fighting to make the final 53-man roster, which is understandable, but there are plenty of ways to get a good sense of your players rather than in these games. For example, training camp can be used for the live “eye test” of a player.
Another idea that can make players less vulnerable while still using the live play concept is through scrimmages being more incorporated in joint team practices. These have been used by some coaches in the league already and the less aggressive approach in practice could lead to a decline in the amount of injuries before the regular season even starts.
With new technologies there are limitless possibilities with the way game film and statistics are captured and accessible around the league. These coaches have endless tapes of college film of the rookies in the league and even more access to film for players that have had experience in the league. So the preseason isn’t the only source of player evaluation.
Of course, the deletion of the four preseason games would be a money decline for the NFL and the team’s owners which is most likely an immediate turn off to the higher up business men, but the players need to be taken care of on the field. Healthy, active players lead to bigger crowds and higher TV ratings.
There’s always going to be a way to make money elsewhere and the NFL is far away from struggling to rack in a huge amount each year. In 2017, the NFL total revenue was listed as $13.68 billion making it the highest in sports revenue in the United States according to Statista.
Even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell thinks the preseason should at least be shorter according to NFL.com. Goodell said he has a vision of making up for the lost games by adding more games to the regular season.
Changes need to be made to make the NFL a safer sport and adjustment like this would be a step in the right direction. Doing away with the preseason isn’t going to eliminate the injury problem in the NFL completely, that’s just a part of the game, but it can definitely help by limiting some of them in such a physical sport.