Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter says he fears something will have to give in a congested fixtures programme until the end of the season.
Clubs are still targeting a 38-game league campaign with the Irish Cup starting on April 27 and finishing on May 21.
Baxter's players looked jaded in last Friday's 2-0 defeat at Coleraine and player welfare will continue to be a pressing issue for the rest of this season.
The Premiership campaign may even be extended into June to complete the European play-offs.
The Crues boss, however, insists the season must be concluded by the end of May to allow players time to recover before the start of the 2021-22 campaign, claiming that to ask them to play beyond that is just "stupidity of the highest order".
With the Irish FA pressing ahead with plans to play the Irish Cup, NIFL chiefs are hoping they will not have to abandon the play-off games or cut the league short.
Clubs with aspirations of making it to the Irish Cup final are going to have very little time for rest amid a schedule which features at least two games a week.
And it should be noted that clubs have been playing at least two matches a week since the end of January.
Baxter was so baffled by the scheduling he feared the Irish Cup may have to be shelved.
"You stop the league after 33 games if you want an Irish Cup to be played this side of the season," he argued ahead of tonight's battle with Linfield at Seaview.
"I felt if you wanted to play 38 games then leave the Irish Cup. You can't fit everything in. They've actually put the Irish Cup dates in the league fixtures. For me, they can't do that.
"Leave the Irish Cup to August as an opening tournament if you want an Irish Cup this year. To try and squeeze both into a 10-week window is farcical."
The IFA have advised that first-round Irish Cup matches may be played on an alternative date, not later than Saturday, May 1, with the written agreement of both clubs and the written approval of the Challenge Cup Committee.
With the Cup dates now eating into the Premiership schedule, any further league or Cup postponements would cause a major headache.
"If they extend the season by a further two weeks in June, you could find teams who have qualified for Europe playing two weeks later in Europe. It doesn't add up for players or clubs," said Baxter. "Given the circumstances, I'm just glad we're playing football and hope we get some normality in the next number of weeks to get this season finished.
"But the end of May has to be the curtain call. You can't ask players to play for a year without a rest. They will need four to six weeks off to recover.
"Allow the players to train properly and come back in August. The teams are working hard, trying to fight for a European place, trying to win a league.
"Players from all teams deserve incredible credit, they're all out on a limb and you see the aftermath in your dressing room."
Linfield top the Danske Bank Premiership and can move 11 points clear of Coleraine with a win tonight, however Oran Kearney's men will have three games in hand.
"There are a lot of energy-sapping pitches at the moment which are pulling it out of us," added Baxter. "But we're all in it together, it's a level playing field."