So, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is going to push until he gets his expanded regular season. He has made that abundantly clear.
Said the commish:
"It’s clear we don’t need four preseason games anymore. ... I think the quality of NFL programming, that every one of our network partners would say, if they have the chance to have more regular-season programming, they’d be interested in it,” Goodell said. “A key point is the fans also recognize players they want to see are not in those preseason games; that’s why they are not attractive. They want to see those players play.”
If that is going to happen, one of the key issues has to be the watering down of the product due to injuries over the course of lengthened season. As it is now, by the final two or three games of the season almost all teams have lost a handful of key players to injury, and NFL rosters are dotted with dozens of players who probably don't belong in the league.
With more regular-season games that is only going to get worse.
With that in mind, I would like to renew my call for the NFL to abolish the injured reserve rule.
Here is part of what I wrote on this topic a few months ago.
I have to believe most NFL teams had a player or two on IR at the end of the season who was probably healthy enough to help them. The playoff teams right now would, I'm sure, love to be able to activate a player who has missed much of the season on IR.
What I'm thinking is that the NFL should do away with IR and use a baseball-style 'disabled list' or 'injured list.' ...
Why not have injured list designations of, say four games, eight games and 12 games? A player on the injured list would not count against your 53-man roster, so you could replace him until he is ready to play.
I think this makes more sense than placing a guy on IR in training camp because you know he won't be ready until the last third of the season. ...
Instead of filling rosters at the end of the season with street free agents, you could fill slots with quality players who actually belong in the league.
I used David Tyree as an example. Tyree was only on IR at the end of last season because a hamstring injury was keeping him off the field when the Giants had to make a decision. He was without doubt healthy enough to play the last few weeks of the season.
Think he might have been ore valuable to the Giants than someone like Taye Biddle or Derek Hagan? I do.
I would love to see the competition committee take a break from pansying up the league and actually do something to help the on-field product by getting rid of this no-longer useful rule.