The Week 4 preseason finale for the New York Jets may answer several important questions. In the end, how much will it cost Gang Green and will this be the game that gives us hope or creates more setbacks?
After starving seven months for football, the idea of the preseason is always exciting. This only, as it means real football is a few days away. Unfortunately, preseason has for many proven an enemy to the hopes and dreams of fans, players, coaches, coordinators, Vegas and fantasy football owners. Even the New York Jets got hit with their fair share of unfortunate injuries in games that are meaningless.
Which side of the debate are you on?
Preseason is now synonymous with sprained, out for 6 weeks and concussed as every year it adds furor to the debate of whether four weeks of pointless football is as unavoidable as injuries are heart-breaking. Even Kevin Patra of NFL.com knows about the fine line of if it’s even worth having a preseason in the NFL due to all the injuries that happen to star players who could end up being lost for the regular season.
The thing here is, the games count towards nothing, yet the risk and injuries far outweigh the sweeping generalization that risk is inherent and inescapable in the game itself.
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Not all teams are created equal.
Teams like the New England Patriots with a quarterback who can win a game with a patch over his eye and down 24, with one time out and three minutes left in the fourth quarter, will always find ways to overcome preseason injuries.
Unfortunately, as Jets fans that luxury awaits us in the next lifetime as a Leonard Williams wrist, Bryce Petty knee, Josh McCown rust and Quincy Enunwa neck sounds more like a receipt for 16 weeks of night terrors and caffeine overdose.
Some would even say the preseason is designed to give coaches, new and returning players real-time action to assess their 16-week readiness. However, others believe it creates more harm than help as it inevitably amounts to a handful of water. Often, these games leave players with season altering injuries and desperate teams like the Jets, still desperate.
Is there anything we don’t already know?
There is nothing esoteric about a 37-year-old NFL quarterback being a bit rusty. Petty wasn’t 100 percent before preseason and Christian Hackenberg as we suspected has thrown several interceptions here and there.
Football is brutal. And yes, 20 weeks of pounding and brain shaking leaves players vulnerable, to say the least. When NFL rule changers make the adjustment next summer, let’s hope the long-range view of longevity for players and their safety is as important as their sneakers and celebrations.