Joe Burrow has interesting idea for expanding NFL schedule

Burrow wants to ensure that players get enough rest if another game is added.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow speaks to the media about his season-ending wrist injury
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow speaks to the media about his season-ending wrist injury / Cara Owsley/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has an interesting idea for expanding the NFL regular season schedule. The NFL recently moved from 16-game regular season schedule to a 17-game schedule, and the league is already thinking about bumping that number up to 18.

"I think we're good at 17 now," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said recently. "But, listen, we're looking at how we continue. I'm not a fan of the preseason. . . The reality is, I'd rather replace a preseason game with a regular-season game any day. That's just picking quality. If we get to 18 and 2, that's not an unreasonable thing."

Burrow's big idea for an expanded schedule

Given the added wear-and-tear that players would endure if another regular season game is added to the schedule, Burrow thinks that an additional bye week should also be included as part of an expanded schedule. Teams currently get one bye week a season, but Burrow wants to see that number increase to two if an extra game is added.

"18 games is definitely a big ask, that's not easy," Burrow said. "Adding that extra game, obviously it'd be great for revenue. But I feel like adding that bye week, if you're going to have an 18 game schedule, is pretty critical for our bodies.

"If you keep that first bye week - some teams have that first bye week five, week six - and then you're going 12, 13 games in a row," Burrow added. "That's not easy. Probably a Thursday night game thrown in there, too. That's never easy. So, those two byes are pretty critical."

While teams would continue to have their first bye on different weeks, Burrow thinks that the second bye should come at the same time for all teams, creating a midseason break of sorts for the entire league.

"Maybe you could do something like: The first bye is kind of how we have it now, and the second bye everybody has it at once, and you make it like the Pro Bowl week, like an All-Star break for the NBA," Burrow said. "I don't know, people get paid a lot of money to have those discussions and make those decisions. But, we'll see how it plays out."

It will be interesting to see if the NFL listens to Burrow's suggestion. If the league ultimately institutes two bye weeks along with an 18-game regular season slate, just remember where you heard the idea first.