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49ers’ Brock Purdy, Nick Bosa weigh in on potential 18-game season

May 22, 2024 at 10:19 AM

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The NFL increased each team's regular-season schedule from 16 games to 17 games in 2020. The league is always looking to maximize revenue. An 18th game is expected in the near future, and there's no indication the NFL will halt expansion at that point.

However, there are complications with lengthening the season by another week. The NFL prefers to conclude its season before Presidents Day. Adding a week to the beginning of the season could encroach on Labor Day Weekend, something the commissioner, Roger Goodell, likely wants to avoid.

The NFL, a Goliath in sports, can likely do whatever it wants. This is evident in its decision to schedule games on Christmas Day—a Wednesday this year. It's a move that has rightfully drawn some criticism.

The season will inevitably be extended to 18 games. What do the San Francisco 49ers think about lengthening an already physically demanding NFL schedule?

"If that is the case, I think two byes would be nice, that kind of thing," quarterback Brock Purdy told reporters on Tuesday. "It's a long season. You go through so much physically and mentally, everything. But, if we're going to extend it another game, I think another bye would be pretty nice."

Of course, two byes would add even more time to the schedule, increasing the regular season to 20 weeks.

Purdy continued, "But at the same time, it's longer, so I don't know how everyone around the league feels about it, but I know that we're going through it every single week, week in and week out, to get back for the next game. So, I don't know. There's pros and cons to it. I don't really know how I feel 100 percent on it yet."

Adding another game seems like a curious move for a league that touts its commitment to player safety. Yes, it means more football for fans and more revenue for owners. However, it also increases the chances of injury.

The NFL could further shorten the preseason as an accommodation. However, most starters are already limited in those meaningless exhibition games.

When asked about the possibility of an 18-game season, defensive end Nick Bosa shook his head and responded, "I don't know how many games they could just keep adding. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know why one more needs to be added, but, yeah, it's not my job to [decide that]."

Bosa clarified that he is against the potential change before adding, "I think 16 [games], four, four, four, four was a good little setup, but it's all good."

What does he think about his quarterback's suggestion of an additional bye week?

"Yeah, but then we've got to shorten the offseason program a little bit," Bosa remarked before laughing. "But no comment."

The ultimate decision lies with the NFL and its continual pursuit of growth and revenue.
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