I think in the very near future the players are going to regret asking for what they received in the new CBA.
Take a good look around the league and tell me what you see. Injuries, upon injuries, upon injuries. This, the aftermath of The Great Suckage (your royalty money is in the mail Tom), will be remembered as the year the players went soft. They asked for and were given reduced OTA's, fewer minicamp practices, less practices during the season in pads, no more two a days, as well as time limits on the length of practices. Also if I remember correctly the amount of actual contact in practices has been dramatically reduced as well.
They seemed to think that a lesser amount of football type contact would be able to lessen the wear and tear on their bodies. This lack of an offseason I believe is going to prove them quite wrong in this assumption.
Already all over the league, you can find players that are knocked out for the year, knocked out of games, being unable to suit up for even the second game of the season. While injuries are a part of the game, it seems that The Great Suckage (royalties) has made the players softer than they felt they would be. Tho they came to camp and claimed to feel more rested than they ever had before in a offseason, football practice has shown itself to be needed to acclimate the body to the forces it will encounter on a given weekend.
Think of the players as a boxer. Would a belt fighter go into the ring without training beforehand? Conditioning a body to withstand the hits, the impacts, the physical exertion of playing takes more than a couple of months for one night of punishment. A football season takes up many more weekends of said dealings of bodily destruction without nearly as much downtime to heal afterwards.
This offseason has robbed the players of the ability to prepare their bodies as required to perform at its peak every week. Without the work with trainers, weight room personnel, and other dedicated support staff for the team we are seeing players have more preventable injuries than ever before. Injuries like hamstrings, muscle pulls, strains, can be reduced thru proper training.
Not only are stress injuries more likely, but without the ability to throw the pads on and practice proper tackling technique the chance of injuries thru poor technique rises.
I don't doubt the ability of players to play thru plain, or injury, but I feel they have shot themselves in the foot longterm with their demands. If this trend continues, the league will no option but to increase roster sizes to accommodate the rise in short term injuries. A level below IR that would permit you to fill the roster spot during the season without having to place a player on IR. Every weekend I hope to see the very best game that can be played. To accomplish this, the very best players need to be on the field when possible. I hope that the way things have gone this season for the league is a blip on the screen and just a byproduct of The Great Suckage (royalties). As it is the possibility is very high that our starting lineup will be without our top QB, top RB, two top WR's, top C, and 2 of our top 3 corners. Thats an awful lot of talent sitting on the sidelines. It Will be a true test of Garrett's ability to coach em up and get the next man ready.