49ers' Kittle calls for second bye week

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The 2021 NFL season saw the advent of the 17-game schedule. Some players would like to see the number of off weeks increase as well.

Speaking on comedian Kevin Hart's Cold as Balls programme, San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle said he would be very much in favour of a second bye week added to the schedule.

"There's a huge physical toll," Kittle said about the season's current structure. "Seventeen 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. If you can get that to happen, that would be cool."

Kittle, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who earned first-team All-Pro honours in 2019, has missed at least two games in each of the last three seasons due to injuries, including a broken bone in his foot that limited him to eight games in 2020.

The NFL did add a second bye week during the 1993 season but scrapped the idea after just one year.

Kittle's wish is not likely to be granted, at least any time soon. The NFL's current Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expanded the regular season and increased the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams, runs through the 2029 season.

The NFL Players Association reportedly pushed for a second bye week during negotiations for the present CBA that took place in 2020, but the league wound up getting its request to have an 18th week added to the schedule for the purpose of playing another game.

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