In the old days, now known as the 1980s and earlier, NFL players showed up for training camp to get in shape. These days, with so many players staying in top condition during the offseason, plus all the “optional” practices, they’re prepared to start the season much sooner.
So why don’t they? The NFL had six exhibitions and 14 regular-season games before moving two preseason games to the regular season in 1978.
Thirty-eight years later, with preseason games getting worse by the year, it’s time for another change. The NFL should have two preseason games and expand the regular season to 18 games.
The longer schedule would generate more revenue, the No. 1 driving force in the NFL. Some fear more injuries, but players are susceptible to getting hurt in the preseason, too. Coaches see these guys enough in practice to evaluate them. The answer to injury, and uncertainty, would be expanding the rosters.
If fans can’t get enough of NFL action, the league should provide them with more.