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NFL to remove ‘probable’ from weekly injury reports

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NFL: New England Patriots-Training Camp Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The National Football League is doing away with the ‘probable’ designation from the weekly injury reports that teams are required to submit:

Prior to this move, there were four different designations available to teams submitting their injury report: Probable, Questionable, Doubtful, and Out. Probable, which is going away, was supposed to suggest a player with a 75% chance of playing. Questionable was to be read as the player have a 50% chance of playing. Doubtful meant that a player had only a 25% chance of playing. And Out meant what it said, the player would not be available on gameday.

In practice, those numbers did not actually match up with the likelihood of a player actually playing. Some teams, most notably the New England Patriots, made somewhat of a mockery of the process regularly listing the same players as Probable every week when there was no real chance (certainly not a 25% chance) that those players would miss that weekend’s game.

One has to imagine this will result in a lot more players being listed as questionable in the upcoming season. Good luck setting your fantasy lineups ahead of time.