In order to succeed in anything, you need to have a good amount of preparation. Not preparing will make your job, whatever it is, a whole lot harder. The critics of NFL preseason don’t realize this. And today, they’re realizing why those preseason games, that preparation, is important.
There were a plethora of serious, season-altering injuries that happened today in Week 2 of the NFL season. Giants running back Saquon Barkley and 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa were both lost for the season to ACL tears. Fellow 49er Raheem Mostert, Packers WR Davante Adams, and Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey all left their games early after receiving knocks that took them out of their games. And there were so many more, but I don’t want this post to look like an injury list.
What’s the reason for this rash of injuries? Why did everyone get hurt this week? A lack of preparation. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with a call to pare down the amount of preseason games, led to the NFL skipping it entirely. BAD IDEA. NFL Preseason serves as a way for players to accommodate themselves to the full contact they should expect in the regular season. If you think full contact practice is just as good, you’re nuts. Players aren’t going to hit their own teammates nearly as hard as opponents will.
I would like to clarify that I think NFL preseason is too long. At four games long, I think it’s a bit ridiculous that preseason starts a full month before a meaningful game is played. But I realize that the preparation is needed, which is why I’ve always thought that there should be two preseason games.
But it was a bad idea to cancel it entirely, and now the NFL will have to endure injuries to multiple stars hitting all at once. Make no mistake, even though this is a team sport, it still relies on star players to attract attention, and without the presence of those players, it’s hard to imagine interest continuing to be as high as normal.