There is always a learning curve for players going from the collegiate level to the NFL and the learning curve is going to be even steeper for this draft class this year. The lack of offseason workouts and work on the field creates an even bigger challenge for the rookies as they hope to make an impact their first year in the league.
The preseason is a time for these players to get live snaps and try to become acclimated to the speed of the game. During the preseason, starters typically don’t play much outside of the third preseason game so this opens up more playing time for these rookies and players further down the depth chart.
However, now with preseason games potentially cut in half the coaching staff may shift their focus to making sure their starters are up to speed and ready for the season. This means that not only are the number of games shorter for rookies but snaps will be harder to come by with starters getting a higher percentage.
If this plan moves forward, it may take longer for rookies to have an impact during the regular season so for some players like A.J. Epenesa and Zack Moss, they may not see regular snaps until the second half of the year.