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NFL’s Controversial New Injury Policy May Ruin Your Sundays

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The decision who to start in your fantasy football lineup has just gotten a lot more difficult.

The NFL has announced teams will eliminate the “probable” status from its game reports, electing to go with only “questionable” or “doubtful” when indicating whether players will play.

Since “probable” had previously resulted in the players taking the field 95% of the time, it wasn’t really an effective tool, especially considering it was supposed to mean a player had a 75% chance of playing.

“Questionable” had meant a player’s status is uncertain – call it 50/50 – while “doubtful” meant a player is unlikely to see live action (about a 25% chance). “Questionable” now means a player is anywhere between 50% and 99.5% likely to play while “doubtful” could be anywhere from .1% to 49.9%.

Removing “probable” will have implications not only for opposing teams and coaches, but for the millions of people who play fantasy football and sometimes wait until the final moments before kickoff to determine if a player should be in his or her lineup. When a player was considered probable, you could have confidence he would play, but without that designation that decision is like going for it on 4th and inches at midfield.

Injury reports come out two days before game day, giving fantasy players 48 hours to scour the internet to find any sort of clue or insight to help them figure out if the second-string running back on the Falcons should indeed be active because the starter is “questionable.”

Yup, your fantasy league somehow just got more intriguing before the first snap of the season.

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