Is there an Epidemic of Sports Injuries in the NFL?

Ryan Mathews

Statistics show that sports injuries continue to rise each year in the NFL. Question to ask is the league facing an epidemic?

It seems that every Sunday the injury reports get longer and longer.

For instance I looked at some stats starting from 2006 where starting players losing time to injury was approximately 38% and in 2013 it nearly doubled to approximately 70%.

RGlllFor example, this second week of play you saw some big names go down with significant sports injuries (1) Robert Griffin lll (2) DeSean Jackson (3) A.J. Green (4) Ryan Mathews (5) Jamaal Charles (6) Eric Decker (7) Knowshon Moreno etc. etc. These stars were among the 35 who had to leave the game and did not return to the field. If you add the number of sports injuries from week 1 at 55 then you can see a trend that an epidemic is on the horizon!

Looking at reports 1 year ago the numbers are not that different but the NFL has to be concerned. What has to be looked at carefully is it case of an epidemic in sports injuries or thinking injuries are worse than they are? In this article I will discuss some opinions on this question.

Some NFL coaches think the new rules regarding practice policies is an indication of why sports injuries have risen. These new policies have been in effect since 2011 and injuries have climbed since implemented. Some of the new policies mentioned are the limitation of padded practices and no two-a-days in training camp.

Coaches feel the new rules don’t allow players to adjust to the physical part of the game. Having a gap between preparation and playing competitively may be another reason for the rise in sports injuries. It may be that players just aren’t prepared as they were in previous years.

MorenoFrom an orthopedic view it is simply that players are bigger, faster and stronger. This is a logical biomechanical explanation because with bigger upper bodies the lower parts are not designed to handle the greater impacts. One thing for sure is that the lack of HGH testing by the NFL can be a reason bodies are too big!

Sports Injuries in the NFL are definitely on the rise and there are some explanations for this (1) there are more detailed injury reports to media and fans (2) the required concussion protocol (3) players are better informed because they now know the long term affects of injuries and don’t push themselves quickly back in the game and (4) decrease in the use of painkillers by injection; players are passing on this knowing the consequences.

DeshawnWhat is clearly needed in the NFL today is more studies to cut down the injury rates and to look at policies that must be changed!