Rest is essential for an extended season in the NFL

Dak Prescott won’t be in uniform every week during this 17-game debut season in the NFL, because he’s already had to be absent with a strained right calf.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback, however, is able to sideline with that extra game on the regular schedule.

“We have to make sure we stay focused,” Prescott said before a 30-16 loss to the Denver Broncos ended a six-game winning streak for the Cowboys. When a team is successful like ours, the guys are eager to play that extra game, to build their pace for the postseason tournament. « 

However, coaches and players repeat that it is a « long season » on many levels. It is simply unclear whether they are referring to an old cliché, or whether they would like a week to be added to the schedule to lengthen it to almost four months before the start of the NFL playoffs.

However, there is a consensus: it is still too early to say, but this aspect is not negligible.

“I took some things out of training camp,” said Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. I would say that at volume we did about 90% of the original plan I had developed. « 

McCarthy was a member of the Green Bay Packers long before a 17th game was added to the regular schedule. And he was among the first to offer his players time off on Friday, to make sure they recover well, before the last weekly practice was held on Saturday. And the 17th part on the calendar encourages that kind of disposition.

It should also be remembered that the Super Bowl will be the latest in history – February 13, or 207 days (a little over 29 weeks) after the first day when players can officially report to their team for camp training. And the preparatory schedule was shortened by one meeting.

« You have to focus on the recovery, » reiterated Tennessee Titans tackle David Quessenberry, still trying to play a full first season in the NFL. Personally, I am only focusing on the next game. You have to do everything to be ready to perform your best the following week. « 

And since only the champion teams from each association get a first-round pass, most clubs should now expect to play 21 games. The Super Bowl champion team will have played, at least, 20 games for the first time in history.

« When this is all over and we get to the offseason, you plan to play 16 or more games anyway, including 17, 18, 19 or 20 games, whatever the number, whatever job he is. You have to put it in, you’ll have to be ready to do the job, ”added Minnesota Vikings tackle Brian O’Neill.

“In terms of routine, you always try to improve it, to keep your body as fresh as possible, making slight changes in order to benefit from it, especially when it starts to get tough during the season. , O’Neill said. Towards the end of October, November and December, these little things can make all the difference. « 

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