Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Year after year, the NFL is adopting new rules aimed primarily at decreasing the number of injuries players are suffering. Defensive players complain that they can no longer go high or low, and anything involving a helmet has pretty much been banned. The kickoff spot has been moved forward to create fewer returns and new special-teams rules have been tweaked with player safety in mind (no more wedges, no pushing teammates into the formation on kicks). Plus, it's become increasingly difficult to touch quarterbacks without drawing a flag.  Critics say they might as well be wearing flags, arguing that an inherently violent sport is being watered down.  Whether or not you agree with that, it has to be discouraging to see that no few players are getting hurt. This was one of the worst weeks for injuries I've ever seen covering the NFL. Jay Cutler's gone for a month. Sam Bradford is on injured reserve, as are Reggie Wayne, Brian Cushing and Doug Martin. Nick Foles, who was playing in relief of the injured Michael Vick, now has a concussion. Jermichael Finley was hospitalized. Lance Briggs is out six weeks with an injured shoulder. And it goes on and on. Ten real or presumed opening-day starting quarterbacks have already been sidelines. Six weeks ago, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that 170 players had been placed on IR before Week 1, which was an all-time record. Since then, key Patriots, Packers, Broncos, Bears and Cowboys have been dropping like flies.  This can't be what the NFL had in mind when it started making major rule changes in order to "protect the players." Are the rule changes simply not having the desired effect, or are other factors -- such as tentative treatment in response to pressure or fewer training camp and regular-season practices -- at play? From Schefter:  Some around the league blame the increase of injuries on the fact that, under the terms of the CBA that has been in effect the past two offseasons, players have more off time in the offseason, then shock their bodies with some of the sudden and dramatic movements players demand their bodies to make. We might never know for sure, because all of those changes came into place at around the same time, and there's no way the NFL will reverse course on this crusade any time soon.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLBPA reacts to Kris Bryant's minor league assignment

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

WATCH: Stars' Patrik Nemeth catches puck inside visor

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

University of California soccer player found dead

Joe Namath parties with twin 100 year-old women

WATCH: Mike Napoli hits home run as bat shatters

WATCH: Marc Gasol misses shot, rips jersey in disgust

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

John Calipari addresses controversial ND comments

Arizona coach Sean Miller rips critics: 'Go cheer for ASU'

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.