In spite of the many rule changes the NFL has adopted this season in efforts to lower player injuries, injuries still seem to be a major factor as we enter week 4. Twenty-five percent of the new rules for the 2016 season are devoted to keeping players safe—making all chop blocks illegal and expanding the horse collar rule to include when a defender grabs the nameplate of the jersey.
In week 4, the NFL named at least 169 players with some sort of injury that teams are monitoring. Working back, 171 were named injured for week 3, 128 for week 2, and 188 for week 1. That’s a total of 656 injured players through only three weeks of play.
Some players think they can escape injury by not playing in the preseason. But then again, some experts think that more players get hurt when they begin full speed playing for the first time in the regular season when the games actually count for something. Preseason exists so players can get used to the speed of play as well as getting used to hitting again.
Let’s look at the numbers. There are 53 men on NFL rosters and 32 teams. That’s 1,696 men that have been injured so far. Thirty-nine percent of the league has reported as injured through three weeks of play. That seems like a lot. But many players believe that the NFL has a 100 percent injury rate.
So, please tell me again what these new rules are trying to do? Keep players safe? Doesn’t seem like they’re working very well. It’s impossible to regulate injuries out of this game
So far, I believe we’ve all seen penalties that have been thrown for hits below the QBs knees as well as hits high. A new emphasis this year. QBs are treated more and more like porcelain dolls that can’t be touched.
The reality is that owners do not care about players getting hurt. Owners care more about protecting their multi-million dollar investments.
Next year they’re going to put flags on their hips and any hit whatsoever to a QB will result in immediate ejection. If a defender can grab a flag off the QB’s hip belt a sack will be recorded.
Fans will rotate each week which section is responsible for bringing juice boxes and a snack for players. We treat players like little children, and many act that way, so why not make the NFL game like pee wee football?
Tackle football is a violent game. Every player understands this before strapping on a jock and lacing up his cleats. It is universally understood and accepted that all players will get hit. There are no positions on the field that can squeeze by without being touched in a violent manner at some point. Heck, they get paid millions of dollars because of the abuse their bodies take. Believe it, players cash those checks.
Instead of regulating safety out of a violent game, we all should take the time to teach young players how to hit and tackle properly. And stop rewarding players for using their bodies as missiles. Each time a young player sees an NFL safety launch himself at a receiver head down, arms at his side and get rewarded for it by plastering these images of hits on our sports networks he is going to emulate these idiots.
Fundamentals. Teach young players the proper fundamentals for tackling, and enforce the fundamentals by rewarding this type of play and penalizing improper tackles and hits.
By teaching the fundamentals and encouraging fundamental play with the same enthusiastic rewards as we did the spectacular missile hits of the past, we can ensure this wonderful sport of football will be there for our children in the future.