The added injury risk of the NFL adding a 17th game is ‘minimal’
There has been plenty of talk surrounding the prospect of the NFL expanding its regular season to 17 games. Of course, this idea has been largely met with backlash from players due to the increase in the risks involved with injuries.
According to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic Dr. John York, the San Francisco 49ers owner and chairman of the NFL owners health and safety advisory committee says the risk is minimal with a possibility of a decrease due to the shortened preseason:
“What I will say is that the engineers, our statisticians, the health and safety committee have looked at an extension of one game and other scenarios, and the changes in health and safety are minimal,” York said. “In fact, in some cases, it’s a minimal decrease. Others it’s a minimal increase.”
While the data is still preliminary, it concludes that there could actually be fewer injuries since recent studies have shown that there was an increase in concussions during the preseason. Getting rid of at least one exhibition game and replacing it with a real one where the hits are more calculated could potentially lead to a decrease in that area.
Of course, it is still safe to take these numbers with a grain of salt. Although concussions may have increased during the preseason, injuries such as ACL tears and MCL tears actually dipped. Regardless, York’s comments ultimately served to try and prove that there would not be much of a difference in the risk involved if the NFL were to try and add another regular season game.