Bumps & Bruises to Career-Ending Catastrophes: The Realities of NFL Injuries
Mountain West Wire
May 14, 2023
The National Football League (NFL) is a physically grueling sport that demands a lot from its players. The game is riddled with risks and dangers, some of which can lead to career-ending consequences. Injuries are a part of the sport, and every player understands the risks involved when they step onto the field. This blog post will dive into the realities of NFL injuries, including statistics, causes, and the league’s efforts to ensure player safety.
Rising Concussion Rates in the NFL
With 149 reported concussions during the 2022 regular season, the NFL reports an 18% increase from the previous year. Concussions are one of the most significant risks associated with the sport, and the league has implemented protocols to deal with them. Players are required to undergo regular neurological testing, and they must be cleared by a physician before returning to the field after suffering a concussion.
Disproportionate Injuries during Punts and Kickoffs
Injuries on punts and kickoffs continue to be “disproportionate” to the frequency of plays. The rules regarding these types of plays have been changed in recent years to mitigate the risk of injury. For example, players are no longer allowed to line up more than one yard from the kickoff spot, and wedge-blocking (where multiple players line up shoulder-to-shoulder to block for a returner) has been banned.
Overall Decrease in Player Injuries
The total of all preseason and regular-season player injuries was down 5.6% in the latest season. Teams invest heavily in injury prevention, including training staff, equipment, and conditioning programs. Additionally, the NFL and NFLPA use a third-party company, IQVIA, to compile and analyze data on every injury suffered during every season. This data helps teams identify areas of concern and implement changes to mitigate risk.
Natural vs. Artificial Playing Surfaces: Injury Comparison
The NFL’s recent rate of non-contact injuries to the knee, ankle, and foot is roughly the same on natural and artificial playing surfaces. There has been some debate over the years about the safety of playing on turf, with some claiming that it leads to more injuries. However, the league’s data suggests otherwise. Teams invest in top-of-the-line playing surfaces, regardless of whether they are natural or artificial.
Ongoing Efforts to Improve Player Health and Safety
As part of its ongoing commitment to improving players’ health and safety, the NFL collects injury data and makes that information publicly available. The league has made significant strides in recent years, including mandating the use of certain types of helmets and implementing new rules to prevent head and neck injuries. However, there is still work to be done. The league is constantly researching new ways to protect its players, and it will continue to implement changes as necessary.
NFL’s Commitment to Player Safety
Injuries are an unfortunate part of the NFL, but the league is taking steps to mitigate risk and ensure player safety. From tackling rules to concussion protocols, the NFL is invested in the well-being of its players.
The league’s injury data helps teams like the Atlanta Falcons identify areas of concern and implement changes to keep players healthy, which can also impact their upcoming odds in games. And while there is still work to be done, the NFL’s commitment to player safety is a promising step forward for all teams, including those closely watching Atlanta Falcons’ upcoming odds.
In conclusion, the league’s dedication to research and collaboration with medical experts helps to drive advancements in concussion management, rehabilitation techniques, and long-term health monitoring. These efforts ensure that players have access to necessary support and care throughout their careers and beyond.
As a result, fans and supporters can feel reassured knowing that their favorite athletes’ well-being is being prioritized while still enjoying the excitement of watching their teams compete for victory in upcoming games.