The NFL’s competition committee is currently meeting to discuss ways of improving the game (and hopefully these improvements will actually be improvements). One item reportedly on the table: allowing teams to have all 53 players active for Thursday games.
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The NFL currently allows only 46 players to dress for game days, a rule that has led to the very popular pre-game ritual of waiting for the inactive list to be released on Twitter. Letting teams dress all 53 players on Thursdays would seem to be a safety-related move designed to discourage teams from forcing dinged up players to participate.
Having those extra options coming off your bench would presumably make it easier for a team to remove a player who is injured rather than keep him out there trying to fight through. The NFL is obviously trying to fight the perception that Thursday games lead to injuries by attempting what is arguably a purely cosmetic change that will have no meaningful impact on player safety.
Then again who knows. Maybe there will be a case somewhere down the line where having an extra player available will save an injured player from incurring a worse injury by attempting to battle through it. If the league is so worried about this, why not just have all players on the 53 man roster available for all games? Wouldn’t that be the best safety-related move to make, if you are in fact concerned about safety?
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