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NFL needs wider field

September 17, 2007 - Neil Rudel

Is it me or does it seem like there are an unusual number of NFL injuries this year?

I'm sure the injury that threatens to end Kevin Everett's career is influencing this thinking, but there have been several players carted off on stretchers already, and we're not even to Week No. 3.

Which brings me to my point (you were hoping I'd get there, right?) The NFL game is so fast -- so much faster than the college game --  that it ought to consider how to make it a safer game.

I realize that would curtail some of the throaty "jack-ed up!" calls on ESPN's Monday night pre-game, but the league really ought to weigh the merits of widening its field.

The players are so much bigger, faster and stronger now than they were when the game was invented 75-plus years ago. And yet, the dimensions of the field haven't changed. 

They ought to, for safety reasons.

This would be different than making the baskets higher in reaction to the taller basketball players, which would reinvent a sport at its highest level and is something the NBA should not do.

But widening the NFL field is a different story. It could be tweaked by 5-8 yards, and that might help lessen some of the violent collisions that dominate the NFL. This also could be done without turning the NFL into the seemingly cavernous CFL game.

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