The End of the Preseason?

Noah Camras, Sports Editor

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The NFL preseason wrapped up this past week, a four-week stretch with “practice” games for each NFL team. However, these meaningless exhibition games are notorious for injuries (some minor and some season-ending) to these top-notch athletes.

The perpetual injury dilemma has sparked the continuous discussion that will not cease until a change is made: Is it time to get rid of the NFL preseason?

The injuries that piled up this preseason were astounding. There were 30 torn ACLs in the preseason alone, including one to the defending Champion Patriots’ star receiver Julian Edelman, and another to the Kansas City Chiefs’ star running back Spencer Ware. The recovery time for a torn ACL is a year, and the athletes are tasked with a difficult recovery to regain their usual greatness. Miami Dolphins starting Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is another player who suffered from a torn ACL, and the previously playoff bound Dolphins will now have to fight to win half of their games.

Football is known as a physical and injury-prone sport, but a recent emphasis on safety has brought up the conversation of removing the preseason. Here are a couple of alternatives to the preseason that would not fully eliminate it:

One alternative would be playing scrimmage practices with other teams. The teams would play each other in a less violent game to practice everything they need to practice, and it would not be as rough and menacing as the preseason and regular season.

A second alternative could be removing the preseason, but replacing it with two more regular season games. What would NFL fans like more than an extra two weeks of the most exciting sport in the world (or at least in America)?

A final and possibly very radical alternative is keeping the preseason games, but making them non-tackle games. How about flag-football preseason games? As a flag-football expert, I can assure you that flag-football is a physical and fun sport to play, and an exciting sport to watch. These players can still practice routes, schemes, blitzes, reading defenses, reading offenses, and every other aspect of football besides tackling. This will prevent many, but not all injuries, but would definitely be a safer alternative. Flag-football is regular football minus the tackling, and I believe it is a better alternative to four hardcore, injury-ridden preseason football games.