Free agent wide receiver Donte' Stallworth argues that the ongoing NFL Lockout could have a negative effect on the quality of play in the NFL this season, even assuming that the lockout ends within a week or so. Stallworth says that it will be difficult for young quarterbacks to be competitive while having so little practice time before the start of the season. He also argues that safety could be an issue, since less-prepared teams will play more sloppily:
I think this could be one of the worst years as far as team chemistry and continuity as far as having new players and the fundamentals of football, tackling, injuries, so many things. I hope everything goes normally, but you just never know with all the work we’ve missed.
It's hard to argue with him, unfortunately. If the lockout stretches on too much longer, players will be forced into regular-season games they're not necessarily ready for. A lot of defensive players already found the NFL's new, and often-inconsistent) approach to tackling challenging enough last year - now defenders might have to combine that with a lack of practice time with their teammates, while young offensive players struggle to learn their teams' offenses on the fly. If negotiations stretch on for more than a couple of weeks, it sounds like injuries could be more of a problem than they typically are.