Badger Alumni Oppose 18-Game NFL Regular Season

Former University of Wisconsin football players Chris Chambers (Kansas City), Lee Evans (Buffalo), Jim Leonhard (NY Jets), and Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas all oppose an "enhanced" 18-game NFL regular season, Mike Lucas of The Capital Times reports.

"I don’t want to play 18 games," Chambers said. "I think injuries would go up tremendously and a player’s longevity in the league would go down."

NFL owners are seeking to shorten the pre-season, which the union is on board with. They're just not as eager to add two more games to the schedule.

"You don’t need four exhibitions to get ready," said Thomas. "Every team has scrimmages, every team has live practices. Once you shorten the preseason to two games, it’s going to be better for everyone.

"But there’s no reason to go to an 18-game season. All it means is two extra games at the end of the year that are watered down. For those teams that are out of the playoffs, they’re meaningless. For others, they could lead to injuries to key players knocking them out of the playoffs."

Chambers, Leonhard, Evans, and Thomas also discussed a potential lockout in 2011 and the financial ramifications it would have for players with Lucas.

"It’s kind of scary thinking that the owners may not let us play football next year (2011)," Thomas, the Browns' player rep, said of a potential lockout in 2011. "What do we do then? Do we go and play in Canada? Do we go and play in the (United Football League)?

"It’s tough, especially the way things are going so far," Thomas added. "It seems like the owners aren’t really interested in getting a deal done."

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