After playing 17 games, Emmanuel Sanders says regular season should not expand

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Emmanuel Sanders got last week off, after being the only player in the NFL not to get a week off during the regular season.

Sanders, who was traded from the Broncos to the 49ers before the Broncos’ bye but after the 49ers’ bye, played 17 games during the regular season, so he was glad the 49ers earned a bye in the wild card round of the season. He doesn’t want to see any other player have to play 17 regular-season games like he did.

“It was definitely tough,” Sanders said today. “If the NFL wants to change the season to 17 games they should ask me, and I say no. Because my body was hurting and I needed that break.”

Sanders avoided major injuries during the season but said he definitely needed the rest after 17 straight games.

“Certain things were just aching, my ankles were sore, my big toe was sore, just everything. Now I had the little bye, I had the opportunity to get a little break,” he said. “My body feels good and ready to go.”

As the NFL owners and players continue to negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement that might expand the season to 17 games, Sanders could provide some expert testimony about how that feels.

79 responses to “After playing 17 games, Emmanuel Sanders says regular season should not expand

  1. 17 weeks with no week off, tough duty. If they do go for 17, kill 2 preseason weeks and institute 2 bye weeks. Give the guys a couple weeks during the year to get better. I think the league tried 2 bye’s in a season once, it was terrible, too many off weeks. Maybe with another game they could make it work, but just not enough games many weeks in the middle of the season.

  2. Agreed look at all the good players out in the playoffs. The season is too long now players can’t stay healthy.

  3. Thats funny because players that go to the superbowl plays 20 games (If they play the wildcard) And nobody cries about that

  4. Okay…
    Well, I’m sure the owners will decide not to push for a 17 game season based on Sanders’ say so.

  5. Isn’t part of the expansion plan to have a cap of 16 games per player? Could create some interesting strategic decisions during the season and give young players more of a chance to shine.

  6. Very selfish of the NFL to even consider an expansion. As a long time fan, I’d love more football, but the end of the day, I understand the pain and suffering these guys put out there week in and week out.

  7. I get what hes saying, but a few things to argue would be that the nfl isn’t asking anyone to play 17 games straight. The nfl doesnt start bye weeks until after 2(I believe 4 but may be wrong) weeks. So unless this particular issue arises again or in the chances of a wild card playoff run forcing a team to go 17 weeks without a bye, nobody is being asked to do what Sanders did. He also could have used his first week with the 49ers as a bye while he was getting used to the play book if hes that worried

  8. Maybe Sanders should sit out this week to get his bye week back, if it’s that important to him.

    BTW, Did he turn down the extra game check?

  9. Most of these guys make more for one game than most families earn in a decade (or a lifetime). I just can’t muster sympathy for someone in that position complaining about one more week of work.

    You signed up for the big money, now dance.

  10. I heard a proposal that a team plays 18 but no player goes out for more than 16. Something like that. Helps develop the team depth. Does not add to a player load. And gives the league what it wants, more tv slots.

  11. A WR complaining that his body was hurting? I get it you might be sore, but how do you think RBs and lineman on both sides of the ball feel? Quick your yapping. You only get touched if and when you catch the ball.

  12. #KeepItAt16Games

    #TheFansDontWantYourChanges

    #ThereAreReasonsAttendanceIsDown

    #YouAreRuiningTheLeagueWeLove

  13. terrystown says:
    . . . all the (owners) see is dollar signs.
    ==

    Unlike the players, who play for the absolute love of the game, and would no doubt play for free if only given the chance.

  14. freefromwhatyouare says:
    January 7, 2020 at 5:55 pm
    #KeepItAt16Games

    #TheFansDontWantYourChanges

    #ThereAreReasonsAttendanceIsDown

    #YouAreRuiningTheLeagueWeLove

    ———-

    #ThisIsntTwitter

    #YouDontNeedHashtags

    #YouCanCommunicateInNormalSentences

  15. He had 17 weeks in 17 weeks with no bye.

    A 17 game regular season would likely be in 19 weeks with 2 byes, getting some of that extra recovery time.

    Still a fair amount to ask players, but it is also possible better spaced out byes would have more benefit than one fewer week

  16. OTAs and preseason are already shortened and softened from what they used to be.

    Anyone suggesting taking away 2 preseason games is not considering that under those terms any team with a new head coach / coaching staff installing new systems simply won’t have enough time to get their team up to speed. Essentially that would doom any team with a new head coach to automatic failure their first year.

  17. Thats funny because players that go to the superbowl plays 20 games (If they play the wildcard) And nobody cries about that

    The players that have been in New England for a few years would never admit it publicly, but I would bet they’re quietly relieved that their offseason has started. Saw a reminder that they’ve made every AFC Championship Game since 2010. That’s crazy.

  18. Nobody said you had to play all 17 games between the 2 teams.
    You could have just had a phantom elbow or foot injury if you wanted to miss some time.
    You could skip a team practice… or maybe even a game if you felt secure enough in your job and are not looking over your shoulder at who may be waiting in the wings.

  19. rockstar904 says:
    January 7, 2020 at 5:36 pm
    just eliminate 2 preseason games.
    ___

    Starters barely play in the preseason anyway. That’s not what is wearing them out.

  20. Hopefully they do not add any more games and they need to schedule two bye weeks. Make all bye weeks the same. It wouldn’t hurt the NFL one damn bit. There isn’t a single rational person out there that would be like “I’m not watching the NFL if I can’t watch it for 17 weeks straight” It’s an atiquated system and blows for teams that get a week 5 bye week.

  21. “If the NFL wants to change the season to 17 games they should ask me, and I say no. Because my body was hurting and I needed that break.”
    ========

    Well that should settle the matter.

  22. He played in 842 snaps this season. Three seasons he’s had more. In 2015 he had 852 snaps in 15 games. In 2014 he had 1003 snaps in 16 games.

  23. harrisonhits2 says:
    January 7, 2020 at 6:04 pm
    OTAs and preseason are already shortened and softened from what they used to be.

    Anyone suggesting taking away 2 preseason games is not considering that under those terms any team with a new head coach / coaching staff installing new systems simply won’t have enough time to get their team up to speed. Essentially that would doom any team with a new head coach to automatic failure their first year.

    __________________
    that is not necessarily true. Matt Nagy in year 1 let practically the whole team sit during all 4 pre-season games and the Bears went 12-4. This year he did the same thing and they went 8-8. Clearly there are more variables than that. First and foremost, having a qb named Mahomes or Watson. If only the Bears could’ve drafted either….

  24. Jesus, it’s not that hard. Drop preseason down to one game and maybe one scrimmage with another team, add two games and give teams two bye weeks, you’d go from a 16 game, 17 week long regular season to a 18 game, 20 week regular season.

  25. why33 says:

    Love reading all of the keyboard warriors telling pro athletes to tough it out.

    ____________

    ♪ “Keyboard Warriors, come out to play… Keyboard Waaaarrrrrriiiorsss, come out to pla-ay!” ♪

  26. I can’t imagine expanding it. I know that the NFL proposed something along the lines of, “we will enforce a rule that any single player may not be played in more than 16 games a season”, but then you are enforcing that second-team players play about 2 to 3 games.

    All that will result in, in my uneducated opinion, is the first 2 or 3 games of the season basically being treated as preseason games that count, and the final X games being the real stuff. It won’t change a whole lot, but it will A) Maybe earn the NFL more money & B) Potentially change the eventual divisional rankings based on who has more solid depth to their rosters.

  27. Cool comment Johnnycantread…Love David Patrick Kelly movies, especially Dreamscape.

    Getting back to comments, its obvious the owners want to try to push the season into March, especially if another wildcard game is added.

  28. I have not read the comments, but this example is about as poor as it gets. If the season was expanded, each team would still have a bye week, and the players would not be required to change teams and forego their bye. In other words, the entire premise to this article is flawed.

  29. Some of these guys never think before they speak.. Emmanuel a potential 17 weeks season would #1 have a bye you didnt get, #2 probably less preaseason games, #3 maybe a 2nd bye.

  30. Jeez all he said is that it takes a toll on your body playing that many games consecutively. He’s not asking for anyone’s pity or talking about extra game checks. The fact that he’s saying no to an extra game, says that he’s fine with not taking the extra check. Haven’t heard many players on side with it for that matter.

  31. I’ll play 20 games for a cool million per year. These entitled athletes who couldn’t hold a regular job if they tried makes me almost as sick as Belichick getting away with cheating for almost two decades.

  32. 1 preseason game, 1 scrimmage with another team, 17 games, extra game being neutral site, and 3 bye weeks, with one Thursday game coming after one of the bye weeks. Imagine the increase in quality of play. Let’s play games in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Japan.

    Here’s the other kicker I propose. Super Bowl is the night before President’s Day every year except the years it falls on Valentine’s Day. Then make it Saturday night in those years.

  33. The solution is easy. Have a loser’s playoff bracket for the top draft pick. Winner gets the 1st pick. They could add 10-12 games over 3 or 4 weekends that people would actually watch. The “championship game” for top pick could replace the useless pro bowl in the week in between conference championships and Superbowl. The only challenge is paying the players a playoff bonus, but that could easily be covered by the TV revenue generated from the meaningful extra games.

  34. fmaluf says:
    January 7, 2020 at 5:37 pm
    Thats funny because players that go to the superbowl plays 20 games (If they play the wildcard) And nobody cries about that

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++==

    Not the point. Nobody plays 16 games in a row, much less 17 in regular season.

  35. dregonspengler as clever and witty as you are, the fatal flaw to your quip is that not a single owner needs football for money. And how is your point even relevant? If all players cared about was money they’d want more games…to make more themselves. Nice try though bud.

  36. To everyone in this comment section saying there should be a bye week before finals. As an Australian who’s most popular national sport uses this system it’s not a good idea, especially for those teams that get first round byes.

  37. They should give all teams a mid-season bye…between weeks 8 and 9. The benefit of the bye week would be equal for all teams…instead of some getting an early bye and others getting a later bye. If they went to a 17 game schedule then they could do a season wide bye between weeks 9 and 10.

  38. Boo hoo for the players that are “sore” and their bodies “ache” after playing football once a week for more than most will make in a lifetime. Try working a blue collar job all year long with no time off for 1% of the pay. Please, they are preaching to those whose really don’t care about how “tired” they are. Go out and play ball and stop crying.

  39. Eliminating preseason games doesn’t solve the problem…most vet don’t play in the preseason anyways.

  40. Thats funny because players that go to the superbowl plays 20 games (If they play the wildcard) And nobody cries about that

    =====

    Yes but seeing as how the Super Bowl Participants normally come from the Divisional Round a player probably got 3 weeks off.

    1. The normal bye
    2. first round playoff bye
    3. Bye week before the super bowl

    No player would willing play 20 straight weeks

  41. gohawks7 says:
    January 7, 2020 at 9:01 pm
    They should give all teams a mid-season bye…between weeks 8 and 9. The benefit of the bye week would be equal for all teams…instead of some getting an early bye and others getting a later bye. If they went to a 17 game schedule then they could do a season wide bye between weeks 9 and 10.

    **************

    I just like the midseason bye idea. Half get week 8 off, half week 9. Still plenty of games to put on TV each of those weeks.

    This season, the 9ers had their bye week 4, when their team was healthy and rolling. The Seahawks got their bye week 11, between a brutal win in SF and the road trip to Phila, both victories for the Hawks. The bye was much more beneficial for the Seahawks then it was for the 49ers, who dropped a couple more games as their schedule got tough and injuries piled up.

    I am a Seahawks fan but can recognize that this was obviously unfair to their biggest rival. Here’s hoping they find a way to prevent it in the future.

  42. Hockey players play 82 and take a beating, loss teeth, have fist fights, and get injured all for less money.

    What a nancy.

  43. I don’t think they need to expand the season. There needs to be consideration for players in his place. A player trade that eliminates a bye week for a player(s) should result in a mandatory week off for said player(s). A paid week off, it might hurt trades, but it’s better for the player health.

  44. 17 weeks of a game a week without a bye is not what the NFL is proposing Emmanuel. So thanks for nixing something that isn’t on the table. Additionally, the NFL could handle all bye weeks in 3-4 weeks. If the trade deadline is week 8, make the bye weeks during weeks 8-11/12. This will lower the chances of a player playing 18 games once they make it a 17 game season.

  45. I wasn’t around when the league moved from a 14 to 16 game regular season, but I’d be interested to know what the players’ opinions were of that move. I’m curious if they were against it back then.

  46. SWFLPC.INC says:
    January 8, 2020 at 8:38 am
    Why do people continue to try and make changes to the game every year? Just leave it alone

    ——————————–

    That’s an easy one. The answer is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  47. Just add another bye week to the schedule, make the season 18 weeks instead of 17. Still play 16 games. Players get an extra break, another week of TV revenue for the league. Seems win win to me.

  48. Eliminate 2 preseason games and add two playoff games (only 1 seed gets bye). No need to add to the regular season it’s fine.

  49. NFL owners are to greedy to keep 16 games, they don’t give a damn about the players or the fans. TV will always over pay so they can make the money from 16 games.

  50. His reasoning doesn’t even matter. It has nothing to do with how many gameshe played, it has with not having a bye week! The NFL isn’t talking about doing away with the bye week.

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