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Is the NFL Considering Widening the Playing Field?

NFL Widen Field
Chris Graythen, Getty Images

A former member of the NFL’s competition committee thinks the league should consider increasing the width of its football fields to help improve safety. Former Indianapolis Colts’ vice-chairman Bill Polian said Sunday that he believes there would be fewer severe collisions if the NFL chose to increase field width from the current 160 feet to the 195 feet used in the Canadian Football League.

“It’s a radical idea, but I think it’s worth thinking about. You would have more space and perhaps a safer game. I say that based on my CFL experience. There are less collisions of that type in the Canadian game,” Polian told National Football Post.

According to NFP, the NFL last looked into widening the field as recently as a year ago.

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, a former CFL star, agreed with Polian’s assertion that there are fewer head-to-head collisions in the Canadian league. Two NFL general managers disagreed with Polian, saying that a wider field could lead to ‘more high speed collisions.’

All agreed that such a major change would increase scoring in the NFL by giving offenses more room to work, while giving defenses more field to cover. The league’s competition committee is scheduled to meet prior to the NFL Scouting Combine set for February 20 – 26, in Indianapolis.

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