Colts player representative says he’s opposed to expanding NFL season to 18 games – Metro US

Colts player representative says he’s opposed to expanding NFL season to 18 games

Colts Football
Indianapolis Colts’ Michael Pittman Jr., left, talks with Jonathan Taylor (28) and Mo Alie-Cox during NFL football practice at the team’s headquarters Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly made one thing perfectly clear Wednesday: He’s opposed to an 18-game season in any form.

The NFL’s Players Association executive committee member wasted no time explaining his concerns following the second day of this week’s three-day minicamp at Colts headquarters. Kelly’s biggest concern is player safety.

“I think there’s a reason they’re already putting that out there in the media, right? Start talking about it, next thing you know people will think it’s going to happen,” the four-time Pro Bowler said. “I hope not. I think you start looking, 16 was a lot for a lot of guys and 17 is even more, right? It’s a lot too on your body, but this is a business and it’s about making money.”

Murmurs of adding another game to the league’s already long season began in earnest after commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the issue on “The Pat McAfee Show” in April.

Since then, the debate has only ramped up.

On Tuesday, Colts defensive end Kwity Paye made it clear he expected any deal brokered between the league owners and union leaders to include at least an extra game paycheck if an 18th game is added.

Kelly took it a step further, suggesting it may require ownership to give players a 50-50 share of the NFL’s total revenue base or possibly lifetime medical insurance — two things he doesn’t believe are really possible.

Still, he knows what it would mean — more money in the owners’ pockets and likely more money in players’ pockets. He’s just not sure the risk is worth the cost.

“The fans, and rightfully so, shouldn’t know all the injuries we go through, but they don’t know what it takes to play on Sundays,” said Kelly, Indy’s first-round pick in 2016. “I think it’s just too many games.”

The Colts announced Tuesday that safety Daniel Scott suffered his second straight season-ending injury during Indy’s offseason workouts. Scott, a fifth-round draft pick in 2023, was trying to return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees. Last week, coach Shane Steichen said Scott tore an Achilles tendon.

Kelly also noted that there has been discussion about changing the way offseason workouts are conducted in the future. One potential change would be allowing players to start ramping up in-town workouts in early July as they prepare for training camp, rather than going back and forth between their homes and the team complex.

“We throw, we do all these things and then we don’t see each for two months,” Kelly said, referring to the current schedule. “So it’s like, is that best and most effective way to train and to really get the most out of it? I think the counter argument is that you add a month in the beginning of the season, it makes the season feel even longer when the league’s pushing for 18 (games) and we’re already playing 17. So I think there’s going to be some back and forth and I don’t think there’s going to be a perfect solution.”

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