John York: NFL could add a 17th game without increasing injuries

Michael David Smith

San Francisco 49ers co-owner John York, a medical doctor and chairman of the owners’ health and safety committee, says a 17-game season is not inconsistent with the league’s efforts to make the game safer.

York told TheAthletic.comm that the league has studied the possibility of a 17-game regular season and three-game preseason and that the research indicates that getting rid of the preseason game would offset the injury risks associated with adding a regular season game.

“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.”

Many NFL players have vocally opposed any expansion of the regular season, but owners continue to discuss it as a possible change on the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. The owners are hoping they can convince the players that more games won’t mean more injuries.

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