The only thing worse than a season-ending injury is a season-ending injury in the preseason. Julian Edelman, Spencer Ware, and others have suffered that exact fate in recent weeks, leading many to speculate that the NFL should do away with the preseason or at least shorten it.
Not everyone, however, agrees with the idea of working players less.
“If anything, they don’t work enough,” former Viking linebacker and current radio analyst Pete Bercich said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think the pendulum has kind of swung the other way. ACLs and ligaments, the muscles that act as shock absorbers, when those muscles get tired, it passes all that force into the ligaments and they start tearing ACLs and things like that.”
Bercich, a former Notre Dame linebacker, played for Minnesota from 1995 to 2001. The Vikings saw quarterback Teddy Bridgewater go down with a dislocated knee and torn ACL in August 2016. The 24-year-old missed all of last season and could miss all of this season.
“I kind of think (players) need more work,” Bercich reiterated. “I think they need a little more work in camp and a little more work in the preseason – more gradual, so to speak. You’re only practicing once a day and then all of a sudden, boom, you hit these preseason games and you could be out there playing for a half, you could be playing linebacker and covering punts and doing all these things. I think it’s just too big of a leap into these games. If anything, if you’re going to change anything, I think they need more work during training camps.”