Giants’ Antoine Bethea comments on a potential 18-game schedule
New York Giants safety Antoine Bethea voiced his opinion about a possible 18-game season on Thursday. Like that of almost every player, it’s not a positive one.
“The people that’s talking about 18 games obviously aren’t the people who are on the field, it’s not affecting them. It’s not affecting their bodies. All it is affecting is their pockets in a positive way,” Bethea said, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “So I don’t think they’re really thinking about the reaction it will have on the players. I think the setup we have now has been working. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I think where we’re at right now is cool, 16 games. We still have postseason. I think what we got going on now is good.”
What Bethea is saying is absolutely correct.
The NFL already has an astounding amount of injuries compared to other pro sports, and another two weeks of practices and games will only increase that number. The suggested solution to the injury argument is that players would only be allowed to play in 16 games. While it seems like a fair argument, its flaws are obvious.
If a player was hurt in the first quarter and didn’t return, would that count as a game played? It would also probably require important starters to play special teams, as teams would be lacking players some weeks.
All of this is without mentioning that players wouldn’t be fairly compensated, as they signed contracts with a shorter season in mind.