NFL teams keep strict tabs on their projected starting players’ film study, execution during practice, diets and every other nuance, paying them millions for all the hard work in the hopes that it produces a strong regular season so they can win a Super Bowl. Why risk it in meaningless exhibition games, when teams often have one of their worst games week 1 anyways?
Exhibit A: Giants CB Terrell Thomas, torn ACL, done for the season.
Exhibit B: Chiefs QB Matt Cassel, cracked rib, doubtful for week 1 vs. Bills. I’m glad the NFL doesn’t have a BCS so a few losses doesn’t end your Championship hopes, but the Chiefs could lose this game against the Bills if Cassel doesn’t start and could lose more either due to Palko continuing to play or Cassel playing hurt.
More coaches should treat their best players the way Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner treated Ladainian Tomlinson: don’t play them in the preseason.