After losing a wide variety of NFL superstars such as Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr, and J.J. Watt to season-ending injury, another name to add onto the list as of Thursday night involves Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. After a ruptured right Achilles’ tendon, the Pro-Bowl defensive back is just another ingredient as to why the NFL is suffering in 2017.
For awhile, an ongoing development related to the NFL happened to be the company’s drastic loss in viewership. During Sunday night’s game between the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins, it was recorded that only 14.4 million viewers tuned in, which marked for the third-lowest overall watched game since 2011.
Through the first nine weeks, the NFL has witnessed a 9.2% decrease in viewership compared to 2016. Although national anthem protests have played a large role in this change, take a look at the players sidelined currently for the rest of 2017:
- Richard Sherman
- Deshaun Watson
- Andrew Luck
- Aaron Rodgers
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- Brandon Marshall
- Zach Miller
- Jason Peters
- Joe Thomas
- Marshall Yanda
- JJ Watt
- Whitney Mercilus
- Eric Berry
- Dalvin Cook
- David Johnson
- Darren Sproles
- Ryan Tannehill
- Julian Edelman
- Allen Robinson
Heading into the second half of the season, the NFL is finally starting to put some aspects of their troubles behind them. The case involving Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot is temporarily taken care of, and the media seems to be paying less attention to the ongoing protests.
According to ESPN’s Mike Florio, he is unsure on whether the NFL is taking any real steps to avoid a decline in viewership for the second half of the 2017 campaign.
My take would involve the fact that the NFL is largely basing their numbers on television ratings, an era that is slowly and evidently dying before our eyes. With live streaming on the rise, the league needs to find themselves more adaptive in this new revolution of technology.
Aside from that, with 4,000+ penalties accounted for every season dating back to 2013, the NFL is once again on track to surpass that amount this season. While there is no simplistic answer on how to speed up the game, momentum within all sports has always been viewed as a large barrier.
Do the ongoing injuries have any involvement with the decline of the NFL? Absolutely. It is almost impossible to say that if the aforementioned players were all healthy and ready to go, the NFL would see no spike in viewership.
Teams such as the Packers, Giants, and Colts have practically been wiped away as contenders simply based on one or two injuries occurring. While the 2018 season holds for bleak promise, the NFL needs to act fast in saving the current campaign.
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