Arizona Cardinals: Preseason a necessary evil
By Scott Allen
The Arizona Cardinals are in the last week of the 2015 preseason
Injuries. They happen. They happen to every team. Some teams get it worse than others. You don’t have to tell the Arizona Cardinals that. Each of the last two seasons they’ve had their share of training campe and preseason game injuries. This is the NFL.
What you do get a lot of too is people debating whether there should even be a preseason at all. Remember when they used to play six preseason games and not the four people dislike now? Not many remember that and I was too young to remember those days but they existed.
For several years now there has been an ongoing debate as to whether the preseason should be shrunk to just two or three games instead of the current four. Some want it abolished alltogether. I am in the camp that some form of preseason is a necessary evil. It just is.
Look, I’m all in favor of seeing players get injured only when it counts the most. Losing a guy to a torn Achillies or a torn ACL in a preseason game or in training camp is devastating. It is no less devastating though when it happens in a regular season game. Just look to the Cardinals for that assessment.
Quarterback Carson Palmer tore his ACL in November last year. Would it have mattered if it had happened in October or September or even in August? Maybe not given the way Drew Stanton was able to play until he got hurt. Preseason though this year has given Palmer the chance to get his feet wet before the games start counting in a couple of weeks from now.
The Cardinals lost defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to a torn ACL in training camp. Was he missed? Sure. Did the Cardinals survive? Yes. Now, not every team can afford a loss like Dockett and survive to a 11-5 record but the Cardinals built a good defense outside of Dockett.
So what if there was no preseason? Well, then you don’t have a chance to evaluate younger talent. You don’t have a chance to get guys on film that otherwise wouldn’t get that chance.
What if there was a shortened training camp or none at all? Many people saying there shouldn’t be a preseason are saying it because of injuries that have happened in practice, not on the field during a game. I certainly wouldn’t want the first action players see to be a regular season game. You probably would see even more injuries because of that.
Yes, I think the NFL could be successful with a two-game preseason but still a two to four week training camp. There has to be something though. Getting rid of both will do more harm than good. I’m ok going to a 18-game regular season and a two-game preseason but I am also ok keeping it as is.
Injuries happen. Yes you’d rather see players get injured in a game that counts but if they are injured, they are injured. They aren’t helping you the next week or the next month if they tear an ACL. Hamstrings most players can get over. The Cardinals had a rash of them in training camp this month.
Just be happy the Cardinals have been able to build a front office that has the eye to find replacement talent when a guy goes down. Not every team has that luxury. However getting injured is part of the NFL game unfortunately. Don’t let your fantasy football mind cloud your real football mind.