Colts' NFLPA rep Ryan Kelly: 18 games would be 'too many games'

Goodell addresses possibility of 18-game season (1:16)

Roger Goodell talks to Pat McAfee about a potential 18-game schedule, including replacing a preseason game with a regular-season game. (1:16)

INDIANAPOLIS -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's vision of adding an 18th regular-season game to the schedule will certainly be met with resistance from the NFL Players Association.

An example of what's to come was offered Wednesday by Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly, a vice president on the union's executive committee, who made it clear he has zero appetite for the expansion of the regular season.

"Eighteen games sounds great when Roger's saying it on Pat McAfee," Kelly said in reference to Goodell's appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" in April. "But until you're the one that's going out there and putting the helmet on for 18 of those games, then come talk to me."

Kelly's comments likely foreshadow what will be significant pushback from the union, which reluctantly agreed to the expansion from 16 to 17 games in 2021.

Goodell did not put a timetable on his goal of migrating to 18 games. The current collective bargaining agreement between players and owners is in place through the 2030 season, but it can be amended or renegotiated. Any change to the length of the season would need to be collectively bargained.

"I [wish] people understood how hard it was to play 16, then they [added] another one?" Kelly said. "And they get rid of preseason games, well, OK, who's that going to hurt? The guys that don't have a shot, the guys that are the undrafted guys or late-round [picks] that need to go out there and improve themselves. I think that the fans see it like they don't watch the preseason games, but they have no idea what goes on inside the building."

Kelly added that fans "shouldn't know all the injuries that we go through. But they don't know what it takes to play on Sunday. I just think it's too many games."

The move to 17 games was a contentious issue among players during the most recent CBA negotiations, with the contract ultimately passing narrowly with 51.5% of players voting in favor.

Kelly also addressed a related conversation. The NFLPA has proposed eliminating offseason workouts in favor of an earlier report date ahead of training camp and a ramp-up period leading into camp.

The union's position is that the current structure of offseason workouts is not ideal and restricts players' ability to control their own offseason periods. Currently, NFL teams conduct voluntary workouts through April and May with mandatory minicamps typically coming in early June before training camps begin in late July.

"We come here for three months, we throw, we do all these things and then we don't see each other for two months," Kelly said. "Is that the best and most effective way to train and to get the most out of it?"

The conversations are still in the early stages, and it's unclear whether there is any trajectory toward a solution.

"There's going to be some back and forth, and I don't think there's going to be a perfect solution," Kelly said.