August 29, 2013

NFL preseason is way too long, but no solution in sight

There are too many injuries in the pretend-games season.

By MARK MASKE The Washington Post

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Griffin lobbied to play in the preseason as part of his comeback from knee surgery. But Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan decided there was no need and Griffin could get ready for the regular season solely in practices.

"Remember, the first time Robert ever had a preseason game was last year," Shanahan said. "He never had one in college. He never had one in high school. You don't have preseason games. When I was in college, I coached there for 10 years (and) I never had a preseason game. I didn't know what they were. I kind of feel the same way now as I did back then. A lot of times you have games and you're always trying to protect your guys, at least the majority of the guys, so they don't get hurt. So there's a fine balance in evaluating players, getting players ready. I really believe that if you can put guys in full-speed-type practice, you can get them ready for the regular season."

The Redskins' list of injuries incurred during preseason games this summer includes Cousins suffering a mid-foot sprain, nose tackle Barry Cofield suffering a broken hand and punt returner Richard Crawford suffering a season-ending knee injury. They're playing it safe in Tampa, with close to two dozen players sitting out. The Redskins have fourth-string quarterback Pat White scheduled to play the entire game Thursday night. Starting safety Brandon Meriweather is to play as a test of his readiness for the season as he returns from a knee injury. Competitions for the team's punt returner job and backup running back spots are still playing out.

"It gives people opportunities to showcase their talents and abilities to future employers all through the league," said linebacker Nick Barnett said. "For me, I would just like to see it cut down a little bit. I think four games . . . is a lot of games to risk everything for nothing."


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