As I type this piece I’m glancing down at my phone at notable NFL accounts such as Ian Rapoport, Adam Schefter, Rand Getlin, and local beat writers for various teams. All inevitably bring up the facts that football has; injuries happen, players get hurt, injuries end seasons before they ever really get started.
Take for example the preseason stats of one Benjamin Watson. Watson was a former Patriots tight end who fell off the map for a few years, and had a revitalized year in 2015 in the New Orleans Saint high flying offense. Watson was able to parlay this career year into a nice two year, 7 million dollar deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Watson’s Ravens stats are as follows: two games started, no catches, no yards, one torn Achilles Tendon. This is not to say the Ravens were forced to start him, because they weren’t, or that a similar injury wouldn’t have happened in a regular season game. However it’s unfortunate and completely unnecessary to see a player go down in a game that has little to no impact on his future with the team. The same could also be said for a player like Tony Romo, who went down with a back injury that will sideline him until at least mid season according to reports. The preseason has provided us with good moments, such as the emergence of local Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler who was able to turn a fine training camp and preseason into being in a position to pick off Russell Wilson and become the starting number one cornerback after the departure of Darrelle Revis to the Jets. We’ve also seen players like Zach Sudfeld who shined, only to disappear once the lights got bright.
So what does the preseason tell us? That good players will play well and those who have potential for greatness will rise up. They also tell us that any owner will open up his stadium for two meaningless games to make a quick buck off of football hungry fans. Another aspect of is scouting, it’s no longer necessary for there to be four preseason games since scouts and general managers can simply get tape from independent research and scouting sites.
All in all the NFL would be better off replacing the four preseason games with two and save many fans’ money, time, and inconvenience.