Playing in the NFL is a Dangerous Job: 250 Players Dealing with Injuries after Second Week of Games

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
New York Jets’ Lorenzo Mauldin, suffering concussion, about to be carried away (photo: Jason DeCrow, AP)

It’s a given that players are going to get hurt in a contact sport like professional football. But the injury total for the National Football League (NFL) after just two weeks of games has raised eyebrows.


Following the second week of play, 250 players, or 15% of the players in the league, were listed as having some kind of injury.


The number of banged-up players was quite high even before the Week 2 games. There were 234 players hurt before teams played their second games of the season. This total included 40 knee injuries, 12 concussions and two neck injuries. That total, however, included those injured during the exhibition season.


Then, Week 2 was played and another 16 players went down. All were taken out of their games. The most prominent of those injuries was Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who suffered a broken collarbone. He’ll be out for about eight weeks.


NFL owners tried to address the injuries before the 2015 season by adopting rule changes, such as banning chop blocks by running backs in certain situations and forbidding players from pushing teammates at the line of scrimmage in order to block punts. Those changes haven’t had a noticeable effect on the injuries this season, according to ThinkProgress. For comparison, there were more than 1,300 injuries in the league during the 2013 season.


In 2013, the NFL instituted a concussion protocol, watching for signs that a player might have sustained a brain injury and requiring those who have go through certain medical steps before they’re cleared to play again.


A report released last week found that 87 of 91 deceased NFL players studied were found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CPE), a brain disease linked to repetitive brain trauma. Those results aren’t representative however, because only players or their relatives who believed the player suffered from CPE were part of the study.


Not even the officials are safe from injury. Line judge Gary Arthur suffered nine broken ribs and a collapsed lung when he was hit by a player during the Sept. 13 game between the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Two Weeks into the Season, 15 Percent of Football Players Have Suffered an Injury (by Judd Legum, ThinkProgress)

NFL Injuries Week 2 (National Football League)

New State Law Favors Wealthy NFL Owners over Damaged Ex-Players (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)

NFL Players Sue League and Helmet Maker over Hidden Brain Injury Test Results (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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