Injuries and football go hand-in-hand. Every week we see several players go down due to a torn ACL, a fractured shoulder, broken bones, bruised ribs, concussions and so on. The only way to stop these injuries from occurring is to end contact football as we know and strapping flags around the players wastes. No true NFL fan wants that to happen, but thosee same fans are getting tired of seeing monster hits that result in a player being carted off the field. The best the league could do right now is to expand the NFL rosters from its current 53 players to at least 60 or so.
By expanding NFL rosters, the league will actually be creating jobs for potential gridiron greats. They could employ over 200 more players by simply adding another seven to each team. Why do that? Again, players get hurt every week and sometimes it’s the best player on that team. For example, Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay or Odell Beckham Jr. for the Giants. The point is that if each team were able to add extra roster spots, then those players could get full weeks of practice and be better prepared when their number is called. Whether it’s an injury or a suspension like Ezekiel Elliott, every team could use a few more able bodies to get in the mix and create a name for themselves, and most importantly, help the team win games.
Another important factor in expanding the rosters is that football players are not robots. While they are some of the most conditioned athletes in the world, players get tired and need a breather. Having more players on the squad allows the coach to give their studs more time to rest while their back-up goes in the game to contribute and not just give his teammate a break.
We see plenty of teams rotate their defensive and even offensive lines due to fatigue, but also to keep them fresh for the 4th quarter. Even one more player to rotate at the line of scrimmage can make a huge difference for the team’s collective stamina and endurance. I’d be in favor of each team adding another player at each position to create more depth for every franchise. Depth is probably more important in football than any other professional sport.
At least the collegiate level understands the importance of a deep roster as the NCAA allows an unlimited amount of players for each school once the season begins. The only caveat is that some conferences only allow a certain number of players to dress for game-day when their opponent comes to their home. House rules, I guess . . .
But going back to the pros — by the time week 12 rolls around, there are so many injuries and players banged up that coaches search the streets and the retirement book for any player who can contribute to their team. This can be avoided if the NFL would expand the rosters significantly so when these situations occur, the team is prepared for the next man up.
Just to be clear, I am aware that teams have practice squads that participate with the team. They usually act as the scout team that mimics the opposition’s strategy to prepare the offense and defense for their tendencies and schemes. However, the players on the practice squad don’t dress for the game and aren’t part of the main roster even though they are signed to a deal with the franchise. So why have these guys practice with the team every day if they’re not going to get in the game?! They can act as the scout team, but can also be prepared to play on Sundays, if needed.
The players are already in house. All the league needs to do is realize the importance of this proposition, especially with how much injuries are correlated with football. Again, this won’t stop injuries from occurring but it will allow a head coach to feel more comfortable with their replacement.
Bonus Post – Game Picks for Week 11:
Dolphins 24 – Bucs 10
Lions 23 – Bears 20
Jaguars 25 – Browns 22
Ravens 20 – Packers 13
Texans 16 – Cardinals 9
Rams 24 – Vikings 18
Redskins 34 – Saints 31
Chiefs 31- Giants 17
Chargers 16 – Bills 10
Broncos 20 – Bengals 14
Patriots 35 – Raiders 21
Eagles 28 – Cowboys 14
Falcons 26 – Seahawks 20