49ers tight end George Kittle appeared on Kevin Hart’s Cold As Balls show, where they talked about everything from Harry Potter to Kittle lucking into a scholarship from Iowa. There was plenty of fluff during the interview, but one talking point that stood out was when Kittle advocated for two regular-season bye weeks:
There’s a huge physical toll. And like, 17 games is a lot. It’s a lot of games, with one bye, whether it’s Week 4 or the bye is Week 11. I’m advocating for two byes.
Kittle added that he’s invested a couple hundred thousand dollars per year on his body due to the wear and tear he takes.
For the players, it’s a no-brainer. They start the final weekend of July, and some play through the end of January with one week off in between while running into each other at full speed for 60 plays a game. So for longevity purposes, two bye weeks make sense.
Now, networks and the advertising dollars might have something to say about Kittle’s request. But if the league is going to add more games, which feels inevitable, a second bye week will have to happen. I’d imagine the players fight hard for an extra bye week once the new CBA is expired.
Expect the scheduling to evolve with more stand-alone games, and don’t be surprised if those are during the middle of the week on Tuesday and Wednesday.