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Injuries and the Preseason

Injuries and the Preseason

Preseason has long been a debated topic. More games, less games – there are arguments for both sides. But the strongest thing to take into consideration should be are the “real-game” scenarios worth the risk they bring?

So far, star players such as Champ Bailey, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz, Wes Welker and Dustin Keller have been hurt in games, with Keller moved to the DL for the rest of the season.

Keller, a productive TE who signed the $4.5 million one-year deal with Miami, now has an uncertain future in the NFL. A free-agent this past offseason, there is no guarantee he will find another home in free-agency.

Football is a dangerous game, no doubt about it. But as Roger Goodell tries to make the seasons longer, players are getting hurt in the most useless places. Goodell and the fun police should stop fining players for playing the game as it should be played, and start working on a way to eliminating useless games, such as the ones in preseason.

Teams and players cannot predict when injuries are going to happen, but the highest probability of injuries occur within a game. Why should players risk injuring themselves for the season? And why would owners want their highest paid talents risking those injuries for games that don’t count?

It’s almost better for players to suffer injuries at the end of the previous seasons in order to take the preseason to heal up. Players like Jason Pierre-Paul, Ed Reed and Robert Griffin III all were hurt or nursing injuries at the end of the 2012 season. Instead of rushing they took the preseason off, and they are now hoping to make the first game of the season.

I understand that the preseason has its benefits, like getting players into “real-game” shape. But it’s possible for them to do that without having to risk their bodies in useless games. Scrimmages work great. You can scrimmage your own team or schedule one with another team and that would be just as useful as a preseason game.

The offseason should be used how Mike Shanahan prepared it for RGIII. He took the time to heal up and work out at a steady pace, not allowing RGIII to rush into the preseason. If these silly preseason games mattered, don’t you think Shanahan would have allowed him to play? Now because Shanahan didn’t rush and just worried about what really matters – the regular season – RGIII is just about ready for action. Of course injuries are inevitable, but why make the risk more probable?

Hopefully players hurt this preseason, like Keller, will not rush to come back for next years preseason.