NFL to discuss possibility of reducing pre-season to three games for ''player safety''

The proposal was first suggested by Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy

BY Sinéad Farrell 18:00 Friday 26 February 2016, 18:00 26 Feb 2016

Bob Leverone / AP/Press Association Images

The possibility of reducing the NFL preseason to three games, has been discussed by the sport's competition committee.

According to Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy - who has been on the committee for the last four years - there is an appetite within the sport to implement this change for the purpose of promiting player safety.

Speaking to ESPN, Murphy explained how this idea was first suggested by Packers coach Mike McCarthy whose side will play five pre-season games this year on account of their participation in the annual Hall of Fame Game on August 7.

Murphy said:

''I think there would be support for three. I think Mike's [idea], that's what we've talked about. Rather than playing that fourth game on a Thursday ... don't play a fourth game and then you'd have an extra week. We've looked at different models, but I think that's the one that makes the most sense.''

"You're giving up some revenue, but it's one of the worst things we do. The move we made on variable [ticket] pricing helps a little bit in how preseason is viewed, but especially that fourth game is kind of a throwaway."

Should this change be applied to the fixture scheduling, it would knock one week of games off the pre-season. Packers coach Mike McCarthy thinks this would be a practical move.

''That would probably be a little more practical, especially with all the emphasis on player safety. Hell, they've cut back everything else. I wouldn't be surprised if they go to three games. Three games with a two-week bye week, with two weeks before the opener. That's just my opinion. Nobody's told me that. I'd be for it. I think it makes a lot of sense. Then you could be a little more aggressive in that third game. Just take the fourth one out."



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