We’re approximately halfway through the NFL season, which means there’s tons to update on what has happened thus far. Though most fans probably know that the New England Patriots are still undefeated and the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals have yet to win a game, but there’s a lot more to the league than the end scores of games.
Professional football and player injuries seem to go hand in hand. No season is complete without a handful of detrimental, probably career-ending injuries to put a damper on the mood of the season. While this sounds depressing, it’s simply part of the game.
In 2018 alone, there were over 8,000 NFL players who did not play in a game due to an injury. Another 7,000 plus players were placed on injured reserve. All this goes to show that injuries are unfortunately to be expected when it comes to such an intense contact sport like football.
Injuries are so common in the NFL that there are websites such as USA Today that keep track of all of the players that have been injured each day. For example, on October 21st, there were 11 new injuries reported. Not all of these are severe enough to remove the players from the rest of the season, but they’re definitely worth noting.
Everything from back injuries to ankle sprains are represented in the stats, and the athletes all face different roads to recovery ahead. Football places a physical strain on the player’s entire body, there’s no muscles or limbs that are invincible from the impact.
However, some injuries are more common than others for NFL players. One may assume that concussions are the most prevalent injury removing players from the league, due to the high degree of public conversation and news coverage around the topic. But in reality, knee injuries are the most common, affecting approximately 30% of injured players. Other common injuries are found in the ankles, hamstrings, and feet.
On top of that, no one team’s more likely to protect their players than the others. The nature of the sport means that all players have an equal chance of getting injured, no matter who they play for. Of course, some teams are more aggressive than others, but generally, there are injuries across the board – from the Carolina Panthers to the Arizona Cardinals.
No matter who you pull for, it’s heartbreaking to hear about an NFL player who encounters an injury that will change their life as they know it. While their contracts likely prepare them for a relatively financially stable life even after an injury, it’s still sad to see an athlete get ripped away from their passion.