Is the NFL wasting its time?

Football preseason is just too long. The length hurts players, fans and takes away from other sports. 
On Sept. 4, Kevin Jones of the Chicago Bears joined several fellow NFL players on the injured reserve list.
Almost every NFL team is ending their preseason with at least one player on the injured reserve list. This proves several problems in the NFL preseason system that must be addressed.
First, before a season even starts, a team is not as in-depth because their first and second-string players are out for a pulled hamstring, torn ACL or shoulder surgery. 
Now, many may see this as a non-issue because every team is losing at least one player, but when a team such as the St. Louis Rams have seven different players injured during preseason, it becomes a big problem.
Furthermore, a contact sport as intense as football needs to save players for the real season. It is silly for teams to give players opportunities to get hurt in meaningless games.
Second, a team can lose a star player and seriously damage the team’s chances. For example, last year the Kansas City Chiefs first-round pick Glen Dorsey was injured in preseason. He was a promising player but was out before he even had a real chance.
If every team lost their promising prospects before season, the NFL would be a football association that only played second-string players – which doesn’t promote positive chances for any team to do well.
Now lets talk about the fans. Professional football is an entertainment sport – that is why millions of fans buy tickets, tailgate and pay for expensive sports packages on TV. 
If a team loses a playmaker due to a preseason injury, then the fans are let down too. If Devin Hester of the Bears gets injured in a preseason game, it is demoralizing to fans expect to come and watch him.
When teams such as the Chiefs injured a quarterback, fans are discouraged and unenthusiastic about the upcoming season. 
Finally, with preseason being so long, it drags the NFL into the most important time of MLB.
Currently we are in the final countdown to the World Series. And with teams that are neck-in-neck are praying that one more win will push them over the edge into the playoffs, fans are eagerly anticipating the results of every game. But when we turn on ESPN in the morning we are filled with news about Michael Vick’s return to the Eagles. 
But how did our beloved Cardinals do? Or how about them Cubs? 
It is unfair for baseball fans to be cutoff for minute preseason football games.
With lingering doubts about the length of preseason, we as fans have to ask what can be done to prevent such injuries, disappointments and baseball withdraw. 
Regarding injuries, preseason games could start by playing third-string players and no-name rookies. This would provide more entertainment and provide a rotation between all players, thus allowing for fewer injuries.
A two-game preseason would make it less strenuous on the players and providing for fewer injuries. By solving the injury problem, the entertainment value stays high. And baseball can save some of their deserved spotlight. 
Preseason may serve a purpose for coaches and build excitement for some select fans but it should not comr at the risk of the players. For those who are fans, of the preseason action, you should be patient and watch the real season.
Jeri Kohn is a sophomore public relations and actuarial science major from Lincoln, NE.
Direct questions, comments and other responses to jkohn@mail.bradley.edu.