NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with members of the media at today’s Special Meeting in Dallas, Texas. Here’s a recap of some of the key issues that Goodell discussed and/or was asked about. One of the main issues was expanding the playoffs from its current 12-game format, which Goodell said was under consideration. “Right now, we are at 12 teams, obviously,” Goodell said. “We will look at probably 14 or 16. The committee will be looking at that. ” The current format appears to be perfect, both in terms of the number of games in January and ensuring that nearly all of the 256-game regular season remains important. Any expansion of the post-season would likely involve the elimination of bye weeks in the post-season, requiring the top two teams in each conference to play in the Wild Card round. With one Thursday Night Football game remaining on the 2012 schedule, Goodell was asked about how playing games in the middle of the week impacts the safety of players. “We don’t have any information that indicates from our data that playing on Thursdays in any way decreases the safety of our players,” said Goodell. “The injury rates do not indicate that at all over the years. You start with the facts. The facts are that it is not a risk to the players. ” Perhaps player safety may not be as great an issue as “player availability”. The shorter work week has resulted in players missing that game, such was the case last week when the Denver Broncos played without guard Chris Kuper and linebacker (and leading tackler) Wesley Woodyard, who had ailments that quite possibly would have allowed them to play on Sunday had the league not insisted on creeping into the work week by scheduling games on Thursday nights. Fortunately, Goodell is less gung-ho on a desired 18-game regular season schedule.
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