Who Needs a Running Back?

By LaDonna Williams14361441_10154526886119805_8005955062667035998_o

The excited was great this past weekend and Thursday night NFL games. There were some crazy endings, blowouts and a Seattle team that can’t seem to beat the rams. During Sunday’s games it felt like a good number of running backs went down with injury. Let’s talk about the NFL injury report.

Injuries

Vikings Adrian Peterson tore his meniscus. If he wants a partial repair he will be out 4 weeks. If he decides a full repair he will be out 4 months.

Chargers RB Danny Woodhead tore his ACL out for the season

Panthers Jonathan Stewart with a hamstring injury expected to miss a week or two.

Lions RB Ameer Abdullah left the game with a sprained foot. He did get xrays and they came back negative.

Browns QB Josh McCown has a shoulder injury, how much time he will miss unknown. They did name Cody Kessler as a starter

Broncos LB DeMarcus Ware out 4-5 weeks after breaking his forearm.

Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury. There have been different reports how long he will be out. So I will guess 2-6 weeks. Rookie Jacoby Brissett will be the starter for the next 2 weeks, until Brady comes back. Julian Edleman is number 2 QB.

Dolphins RB Arian Foster left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Will miss week 3.

Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls left Sunday’s game with a leg injury.

Redskins T Kedric Golston placed on IR with a hamstring injury.

Suspensions, Cuts and Signings

Lions cut TE Andrew Quarless after 2 game suspension. (He never played a game with them.)

Bengals claim 2016 3rd round CB KelVarae Russell after being cut by the Chiefs.

Rams DT Michael Brokers agree to 3-year $33M extension

Bills fire OC Greg Roman

News Around the NFL

Seahawks lose 2017 5th round pick, 1 weeks of OTAs for offseason violations. Fined$400k and Carroll fined $200k.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Hines Ward, Donovan McNabb nominated for 2017 Pro Football HOF class.

Panthers OL Trai Turner fined $9,115 for taunting in week 1.

Cowboys DE Randy Gregory drops his 10-game suspension appeal. Will be available to come back week 15.

Broncos S Darian Stewart fined $18,231 for helmet to-helmet hit on Cam Newton.

Broncos LB Brandon Marshall fined $24,309 for helmet to-helmet hit on Cam Newton.

Packers and LT David Bakhtiari agree to 4-year/$51.67M extension.

Scores

Jets 37

Bills 31

Bengals 16

Steelers 24

Titan 16

Lions 15

Ravens 25

Browns 20

Cowboys 27

Redskins 23

Saints 13

Giants 16

49ers 27

Panthers 46

Dolphins 24

Patriots 31

Chiefs 12

Texans 19

Seahawks 3

Rams 9

Buccaneers 7

Cardinals 40

Jaguars 14

Chargers 38

Falcons 35

Raiders 28

Colts 20

Broncos 34

Packers 14

Vikings 17

 

 

 

 

 

Four Games That Don’t Matter

As I type this, not a single down of preseason football (thanks to some mysterious paint) has yet to be played. Not a single star player has succumbed to a season ending injury in a meaningless game. 

It hasn’t happened…yet. It will though. It always does. Some fan base is going to get its heart ripped out, some GM is going to start calling fading veterans to grab a replacement. All over some games that don’t count.

20 games. 20. When you count preseason that’s how many games a NFL team plays before the playoffs. 4 preseason, 16 regular season. That’s a lot of football. Yes the starters only play about 7 quarters of football in the preseason. Still, that’s a lot of time on the field. For what? 2 games would be enough in the preseason to get the teams ready. Most of the position battles are decided in practice not preseason games. So why do we have them? Why do owners risk their multi-million dollar investments? Why do teams risk their season?

Money. Money is why. Those multi-billion dollar TV deals include the preseason. Preseason tickets cost the same as regular season tickets. Parking in preseason games is the same cost as regular season. So are concessions. NFL owners aren’t giving up 2 games of income. The NFL is selling 20 games. That’s not changing.

So what is the answer? How do we cut down on these meaningless games and pointless injuries?

Well the answer is simple; yet not easy. It is to take 2 preseason games and make them into fully counting regular season games. 

The first roadblock to this is that it means more time on the field for those stars. That the risk for injury goes up with 2 more games that mean something. 2 more games that they will play all 4 quarters of. 

Here’s my answer, it’s threefold. First you add a second bye. The extra rest, that week of healing will go further to help keep them able to play than a few quarters off in preseason.

 Second every NFL players can only be active for 17 of the 18 games. It would add an entire level of strategy of when do you have your star player inactive? When do they have that personal bye week? It makes depth of roster so much more important. It also means that if you are borderline with an injury there will be less pressure to rush back prematurely because you can just use your mandatory inactive game when you need it. 

Third you increase roster size, this allows almost every player to play fewer snaps, increasing the NFL jobs while making the battles to make the roster less important. It also allows teams to spend more time to develop young players. How do teams pay for these extra players? Well most would be league minimum guys and you now have two more games that you can increase what you charge the TV networks for those games. With the second bye and 2 more games you’ve added 3 weeks of real regular season football to the network schedules. That’s more income. 

The second roadblock is how do you evaluate young players without the extra training camp and preseason games? Well the expanded rosters actually make that a full season of development and work for guys who would have been cut in the old system. What else needs to be done is increasing the initial roster size. 

Say 90 players until week 4 then you cut to the increased regular roster size of say 75 after week 4. That allows coaches the shortened training camp, 2 preseason games and a month of regular practices and 4 regular games to make the roster decisions. 

There we have a way to add to regular season games, get rid of 2 preseason games, increase NFL profits and NFL player jobs. All while keeping the same or even lowering the entire number of downs a player plays in the course of the current 20 games structure, and actually gives them more rest to recover. It makes fantasy football more fun and allows you to see your young talent and depth on the field more.

Think anyone will listen to me?