49ers' Nick Bosa Emphatically Rejects Idea of 18-Game NFL Regular Season

49ers defensive end Nick Bosa chats with the media during Super Bowl LVIII opening night at Allegiant Stadium.
49ers defensive end Nick Bosa chats with the media during Super Bowl LVIII opening night at Allegiant Stadium. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The NFL is approaching its fourth full season with the new 17-game regular season schedule, but the league already is publicly considering adding an 18th game down the road.

San Francisco 49ers star defensive end Nick Bosa would not be a fan of that move.

"I don't know how many games they could just keep adding," Bosa said to reporters Tuesday while shaking his head. "I don't know why one more needs to be added. But it's not my job."

The NFL jumped from a 14-game schedule to 16 games in 1978, a format that remained for 42 years until the league implemented a 17-game schedule in 2021.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently addressed the possibility of replacing one of the three preseason games with an 18th regular-season contest in the future.

"I think we're good at 17 now," Goodell said on The Pat McAfee Show last month. "But, listen, we're looking at how we continue. I'm not a fan of the preseason. ... The reality is, I'd rather replace a preseason game with a regular-season game any day. That's just picking quality. If we get to 18 [regular season games] and two [preseason games], that's not an unreasonable thing."

If the league added an extra game, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy would want another week during the season given back to the players.

"I think two byes would be nice," Purdy said Tuesday at the 49ers' facility in Santa Clara. "It's a long season, man. You go through so much physically and mentally, everything. If we're going to extend it another game, I think another bye week would be pretty nice. But at the same time, [the season would be] longer.

"I don't know how everyone in the league feels about it, but I know that we're going through it every single week, week in and week out, to get back for the next game."

Adding an 18th game—especially if it arrived with a second bye week—would likely bump back the league's tentpole events like the Super Bowl, scouting combine and draft.

The current CBA includes a restriction of going past 17 games until it expires in March 2031. But the league could get the NFL Players Association to agree to an 18th game before then.

Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.