John York: NFL could add a 17th game without increasing injuries

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San Francisco 49ers co-owner John York, a medical doctor and chairman of the owners’ health and safety committee, says a 17-game season is not inconsistent with the league’s efforts to make the game safer.

York told TheAthletic.comm that the league has studied the possibility of a 17-game regular season and three-game preseason and that the research indicates that getting rid of the preseason game would offset the injury risks associated with adding a regular season game.

“What I will say is that the engineers, our statisticians, the health and safety committee have looked at an extension of one game and other scenarios, and the changes in health and safety are minimal,” York said. “In fact, in some cases, it’s a minimal decrease. Others it’s a minimal increase.”

Many NFL players have vocally opposed any expansion of the regular season, but owners continue to discuss it as a possible change on the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. The owners are hoping they can convince the players that more games won’t mean more injuries.

28 responses to “John York: NFL could add a 17th game without increasing injuries

  1. So I am just supposed to take your word for that? Doesn’t pass the smell test. Need to give me a bit more information how you can make that claim!

  2. While true that 20 total games may have the same number of injuries either way, one more regular season game makes it more likely to have a starting player (or superstar) injured, as they would end up playing more snaps in one more regular season game than they play in the preseason game that would be dropped.

  3. They could also go with 2 byes and keep the schedule at 16 games while still getting the extra TV revenue from an 18 week season. They might even be able to work the scheduling so that teams on byes play each other after the bye.

  4. Stupid logic. Starters don’t hardly play in the preseason. 17 games means more teams will “load manage” which isn’t good for the game or the fans. If I’m shelling out big bucks for tickets, no way I pick a game in the last 2-3 weeks of the season.

  5. I can’t wait to hear the “facts” that show how it decreases injury, especially if the 17th for every team is played at a neutral site with a field like last night’s…

  6. So injuries in a PRETEND game, where half the roster won’t be around
    for the real games…. Will have less injuries than an extra REAL game?

    OK.

  7. It says for some it’s a decrease in risk for some and for others it’s an increase in risk.

    In other words in means since starters normally play very little in the preseason. Adding one regular season game will increase their probability of getting hurt. Since back ups normally play the majority of the preason and not so much during the regular season. Their chances go down a little by taking away a preseason game.

    They just added all that other stuff to make it sound like some serious studying has been going on. Don’t be fool. If you guys are hiring people to figure that out for you where do I submit my resume?

  8. @bobthebillsfan: 16 games over 18 weeks is a great start. However, why not go one step further. The 2nd bye would be used prior to when each team plays a Thursday night game. That way players get two “mini-byes” on either end of the Thursday games and eliminates the short week argument.

  9. Wouldn’t eliminating one preseason game to add one regular season game just add more risk to starters before the playoffs? I get it’s a 1 to 1 trade off in terms of games but the players are different. The mentality is different.

  10. So what?
    Players don’t care if they’re injured, all they care about is getting paid.
    There will always be more players available, it’s an endless supply really.
    As long as my team wins, I couldn’t care less about the players.

  11. motsuret06 says:
    November 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm
    Why do these idiot owners keep asking for more regular games???? Are they that money hungry???
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    CBA negotiation tactic. Every time the contract comes up the talk of adding more games comes with it. The owners make the players use their negotiating chits to keep the season at 16 games instead of using the chits on things the players want.

    …and yes they are that money hungry.

  12. How an owner can, with a straight face, equate the loss of a preseason game to the addition of a regular season game and say that the injury risk is minimal or decreases is utterly ridiculous.

    I’m not sure if he’s aware, but most starters don’t play in pre-season games while they play in a high % of the snaps in a regular season game. Any notion that adds a regular season game to the NFL schedule means that it’s adding wear & tear to the players – there’s really no way around that.

  13. I know this would never happen, but I wonder if players would support a longer regular season if the NFL got rid of Thursday and Monday games? Stop laughing — I agree the NFL$$ would never do it. But it certainly makes me wonder…

  14. You lost us at, “San Francisco 49ers co-owner John York, a medical doctor and chairman of the owners’ health and safety committee…”

    Clear conflict of interest.

    These are the same group of owners who promoted a glorified veterinarian, I’m sorry, I mean “team doctor” to leading a committee on brain injuries who was ridiculed by peers as pushing junk science to cover-up the realities of occurrence and severity of head trauma in pro football, right? Which has lead to lawsuits, right?

    Those Owners, yes.

  15. There will be 17 games in the next CBA and it will be the same reason there are Thursday games: they will increase the amount of money coming in. For all the players that say they hate Thursday games there are far more that say nothing, and that’s because the players know their contract numbers are dependent on the league increasing financial resources. Nothing gets done without the players agreeing to it and players agree when the salary cap continues to increase. This will be no different and there will be players that complain about 17 games and an extra playoff team, but they will accept it because the cap will increase big time. Dr York is also correct in that there is no evidence that an extra game will increase injury. Injuries happen with and without contact, game or no game, practice or simply playing a game of pickup basketball. Believing the injuries are a product of too many games is not backed up by facts. The only thing we know for sure is that this game causes a lot of injuries to players. The only way to change that is to change the game which they are trying to do but if you want physical contact in the game you have to accept the injuries that come with it.

  16. Do your negotiating at the table, not through the media. If this is any indication of the way the negotiations are going to go, I hope the players can spin it as good as the owners.

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