New NFL Pro Bowl increases risk of injury

I think I’m with most people when I say that the Pro Bowl is far from the event of the year.

The season is over; nobody wants to get hurt. The majority of the players look forward to a vacation in Hawaii, not a potential 24th game of the year.

This year’s schoolyard-style matchup might just be what the NFL needed to do if it wants to make an all-star game worth watching.

dishjan28_kwitBut is it worth it in regard to the players? It was fun to watch Derrick Johnson hammer his Kansas City Chiefs teammate Jamaal Charles in the first quarter and Josh Gordon flip over Cleveland Browns teammate T.J. Ward, but there are injuries to think about.

Athletes get caught in the excitement, and nobody can blame them for wanting to get a good hit on a teammate, but can you imagine the backlash if Charles suffered another concussion?

There were also nine sacks. In a league that emphasizes quarterback safety so much, what would happen if Drew Brees or Nick Foles were injured on one?

The new format adds life to a previously unwatched event, but at what risk? Players and coaches need to think about what is important, and what could potentially happen in, at best, a competitive scrimmage.

 

Reach the columnist at Nolan.Kwit@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @NolanKwit