On that note, let’s talk about it.
Aside from those in the Hall of Fame Game, who always have an extra preseason game, the league has adopted the three-game preseason slate in order to fit in 17 regular season games.
Now the latter is the notable part of the change, because an uptick in injuries will surely be something players will keep an eye on.
How competitive all 17 games are remains to be seen as well.
But let’s discuss why the shortened preseason is an overwhelming positive.
— NFL (@NFL) August 9, 2021
So Many Absences Anyway
The NFL has a shorter preseason and we are already seeing top players all around the league be held out, most notably quarterbacks.
If the preseason was still four games, teams would have to play one more meaningless game without their top players.
And fans already knew the usual routine.
The Packers are taking precaution on Aaron Rodgers 💯
Jordan Love will get preseason playing time 👀 pic.twitter.com/mwwAkDKvku
— Packers Nation (@PackersNationCP) August 10, 2021
The first game usually saw the starters play a series or two, with the second game being the same deal.
The third game was when starters may play until halftime, while they sat out completely in the final game.
Now coaches can just treat the month as one big game, doing away with this past routine.
However, the third and final game will still likely see only backups competing for roster spots.
And in that regard, having an extra game was genuinely dangerous.
Backups trying to make the roster were going full speed and may make a dangerous play to stand out to their coaches and front office.
The last thing the NFL needs is preseason injuries.
The Looming Question
A shortened preseason is all good and fun.
Next up comes the extended regular season.
The obvious reason for the change is more money for the league.
Owners can claim they were always playing a 20-game schedule counting the preseason, but no one is foolish enough to believe players were going hard for 17 of those.
This is going to be something closely followed over the next several years.
Injury rates will be analyzed and if players are going down late in the year, like we saw in the NBA this past season, changes will have to be made.
But that doesn’t mean switching another game back to the preseason.
The NFL is booming in value and everyone is reaping the benefits.
The goal now is to not do anything that would turn the tides in the opposite direction.