Jay Glazer: Owners Discussed Extending NFL Field During Player Safety Meetings

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 20, 2019

A general view of MetLife Stadium during the second half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

One solution the NFL has explored to make the game safer is increasing the length and width of the playing field. 

Per The Athletic's Jay Glazer, the topic was discussed at the NFL owners meetings in March.

"It was brought up, the players have gotten bigger, faster, stronger, and the field hasn't gotten any bigger," Glazer wrote. "I don't see anything changing, but this is the first year I actually heard about that. ... That was the first time I'd ever heard about that."

As much as the sport of football has changed over the years, one thing that hasn't altered much is the dimensions of the field. 

The last significant change to the dimensions came in 1912, eight years before the NFL was founded, when two 10-yard end zones were added to bring the length to 120 yards from end zone to end zone. The field is 53.3 yards wide. 

If the NFL wants to adjust its field, one potential model to look at is the CFL. Canada's field dimensions are 110 yards from goal line to goal line and 65 yards wide. 

The league approved two player-safety rule changes for the 2019 season during its annual meetings. The kickoff changes implemented last year on a trial were made permanent, and the league expanded protection for defenseless players on blindside blocks. 

The NFL's emphasis on player safety did help last season with a 29 percent reduction in concussions during the regular season compared to 2017.

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