The Green Bay Packers Are Exhibit 1A on Why the NFL's 18-Game Schedule Is a Joke

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IOctober 27, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  Bryan Bulaga from the Iowa Hawkeyes poses with NFL Commissioner ROger Goodell as they hold up a Green Bay Packers jersey after the Packers drafted Bulaga number 23 overall during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Just four months ago, Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy was part of a negotiation team put together by the NFL to praise the merits of an "enhanced season," or in other words, an 18-game regular season schedule. 

After the presentation to the NFL Players Association in New York City, Murphy told reporters, "It would be a real positive for us as a league." 

Yet four months later, and after the 10th Green Bay Packer was placed on season-ending injured reserve today (Brad Jones), you have to wonder if Murphy has changed his tone a little bit on the subject. 

The sad part is that it's doubtful he has, even with the rash of injuries that has plagued the team whose interests he's been appointed to protect. But if there is anyone who should be out voicing an opinion against the NFL's "enhanced season," it's Murphy and the Packers. 

For people who haven't been following the Green Bay Packers closely this season, the once Super Bowl favorite from the NFC have been hit with injury after injury this season. 

Star players like Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and Nick Barnett won't play another down in 2010 because of season-ending injuries. 

But it hasn't just been stars either. Rookie contributors Morgan Burnett and Mike Neal are both on injured reserve, as is starting linebacker Brad Jones and special teams ace Derrick Martin. 

Add in Brady Poppinga, Justin Harrell and Josh Bell, and nearly one-fifth of the Packers' opening 53-man roster is out for the season. 

Three other Packers are still on the physically unable to perform list—Al Harris, Atari Bigby and James Starks—and, by my count, eight other Packers have missed at least one game this season due to injury: Ryan Pickett, Clay Matthews, Mark Tauscher, Cullen Jenkins, Sam Shields, Brandon Underwood, Brandon Chillar and Quinn Jonhson. 

That brings us to a grand total of 21 Packers players who have been significantly affected by injury in 2010. 

The scary part is were only seven games into this NFL season. How can you seriously justify to the Green Bay Packers that playing an extra two games is going to be a "real positive"? 

Nevertheless, Murphy wouldn't be the only hypocrite who's trying to push the 18-game schedule on the NFL players. The hypocrisy begins at the very top with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. 

For a league that has become so intent, and rightfully so, on protecting its players, an 18-game schedule is a direct backtrack on that idea. 

For example, the NFL has made huge strides on concussion research in the past two seasons, and have done well in implementing their new processes on how they are dealt with.

Packers fans are well aware of the process, as their quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion but was able to play the next week after passing all the required tests. 

Yet how can you say that adding two more games in which Rodgers, or any player for that matter, could suffer another concussion is supplementing the strides you've made in that area?

The fact of the matter is that adding two more games will increase concussions, increase torn ACLs, increase injuries in general. There's simply no way around that, and for the NFL to try and act like it's only looking out for the players is almost laughable. 

Overall, if the NFL is looking for a reason not to move forward with this idea, the Green Bay Packers' 2010 season is that reason.

They have proved the toll that injuries can have on an NFL team and how exposing them to two more games that could cause additional injury is almost irresponsible. 

The Packers are already struggling trying to get through a 16-game schedule, so maybe the NFL and Mr. Murphy should realize that before he continues on his trailing marketing for the league's "enhanced" 18-game schedule.

Because the only things that will be enhanced by adding two extra games is the money in the owner's pocket and the number of NFL players in training rooms.