With the 2017 NFL preseason finally wrapping up, fans and players alike are left wondering whether it is even necessary. For the top-tier players on each team, the preseason serves as a tedious reminder that the real games still have yet to come.
Among those players is Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley. He made his status as a proponent of a shortened preseason clear, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez:
“Oh yeah, most definitely,” Gurley said when asked if teams should player fewer than four preseason games. “We’ll get that changed, sooner or later.”
Any average NFL player and fan would love to see fewer injuries before the start of the regular season. It goes without saying, the risks involved with having big-money players in games that do not mean anything.
However, the preseason serves as a necessary evil to get players ready for the grind of a 16-game season. Unlike basketball or baseball, football is not a sport that an athlete can play all year round.
There is no other way to simulate what the speed of the game looks like until one is actually in the game. It also gives the lesser-known players a chance to earn themselves for a spot on the roster. For now, it is a waiting game that the upper-echelon guys like Gurley must play.