Posted on 23 September 2016.
The NFL cannot win this year. Every step they have taken to make notable changes in the game has attracted repercussions of one form or another, many times distracting from conversations about NFL betting lines and odds, instead raising questions about the competence of those in charge.
There haven’t been nearly as many voices opposing the league’s decision to revise the injury report procedures, though; the revision has obviously reduced the number of players listed through the first two weeks of the season.
However, the number of listed players who have been classified as questionable has grown substantially. The game status report, which was released two days before kickoff, constituted 272 players who had been listed with injuries.
The 33 percent drop from 2015 is very notable, a direct result of the NFL’s decision to remove the probable’ category. The problem here is that 163 of those listed players (a 73 percent increase from the first two weeks of the 2015 season) have been designated as questionable.
In other words, these are 163 players who the NFL are uncertain will play in a game. You can see how this is skewing the figures and raising misconceptions when game data is analyzed. More than half of all the players (Three-Fourths to be exact) that have been designated as questionable’ have actually played in a game.
Week 2 was especially prevalent with so-called questionable players (79 percent); this is as opposed to 53 percent of questionable players appearing in a game within the same period in 2015.
Despite confusing a few analysts, the conundrum created here isn’t all bad, or rather this isn’t as problematic an issue as some people have suggested, primarily because it has removed the uncertainty.
Teams are more likely to declare players out; as such, people do not need to make guesses about the number of players who have been injured in any given week.
Along with revising injury report procedures, the league also introduced a doubtful’ category. People in this category are deemed as being unlikely’ to be in uniform. This category hasn’t been utilized as frequently.
Only seven percent of players have been listed as doubtful’ on the game status report. Not everyone pays attention to the injury report, primarily because they think it is a mundane and largely unnecessary obligation.
However, opposing teams and even fans spend lengthy portions of time pouring over such reports, this along with gamblers and participants in fantasy leagues. For such people, injury reports provide useful insight into the availability of players for specific games.
The NFL was driven to make changes to reporting procedures because the probable’ category was receiving very little use. The majority of probable’ players always ended up playing games they were expected to seat out.
The effectiveness of the NFL’s revised procedures cannot be measured extensively so early in the season, though; the first two games offer too small a sample size. If a coach is competitive enough, he will find ways of reducing the insight provided into his team.
So, it is difficult to determine how effective the new procedures will be in the long run, not when coaches are so determined to keep the minutiea of their rosters private.