2013 Week 14 NFL Concussion Report – UPDATED

13 Dec

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the information along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know (we will also be using Fink’s Rule to classify a concussion/head injury).  It also should be noted that due to the league not disclosing actual injuries until Friday night there may be some added to next weeks numbers.

UPDATED 16:57 CST – Nate Solder, OL, NE added

67 versus 65 66.

Once I explain those numbers some of you will be dumbfounded and even shocked.  If you have been here long enough, that comparison will make a lot of sense to you.

In the regular season weeks 1-9 there were a total of 67 concussions found.  Over a nine week span there was an average of 7.44 concussions found per week.  In weeks 10-14 – FIVE WEEKS – there have been 65 66 concussions found and average of 13.o 13.2 concussions found per week.  Almost a double of the numbers.

Before you go blaming the bye weeks on this discrepancy, make sure you note that there were three weeks in the beginning of the season when no teams had byes, and in the most recent five-week sample there has been only two.  Breaking down to just the week in which every team was playing the numbers are even more stark;

Weeks 1-3:  21 for an average of 7.0/week

Weeks 13-15 (WE ARE NOW IN WEEK 15, still awaiting those numbers): 30 31 for an average of 15.0 15.5/week an absolute doubling of concussions in the later part of the season.

Before everyone goes off and screams to the hills about a problem, there isn’t a problem.  This is normal for the NFL and normal according to published studies.  This is also a theory of the Sports Legacy Institute that seems to be playing out.  The idea of a ‘hit count’ for the brain.  A theoretical threshold the brain has before the ‘subconcussive hits’ become concussive episodes.  In simple terms the hits that were not producing a concussion for a player in weeks 1-3 are now producing the injury in weeks 13 and beyond.  The theory goes that the brain protection system (whatever that is) has weakened due to the repetitive nature of their profession and the brain is therein more vulnerable.

For further discussion I will now produce the Weeks 1-3 vs. Weeks 13-15 from 2010 to today (Key = total/per week vs. total/per week):

  • 2010: 21/7.0 vs. 30/10.0
  • 2011: 26/8.67 vs. 34/11.33
  • 2012: 30/10.0 vs. 35/11.67
  • 2013: 21/7.0 vs. 30+/???

By statistics alone one can see that concussions increase as the season wares on, this is not reason to panic, rather a point where we can try to figure something out.  This is the primary reason for this Concussion Report; if we don’t have the numbers and breakdowns how can we tell if something is working or not.  Also, if we get overall numbers that are down (likely this season) do we really know if it was a success?

Some have questioned this method and even called into question my motives, I want to be clear here, there is nothing more than trying to find a “baseline” so we all can see what is working and what is not.  Moreover, where we should be going in the future.  I don’t deserve a medal for this, but I surely someone is paying attention to this work so we can MOVE FORWARD and be proactive.

Another surprising finding (which still has to hold as the season closes) is that the defenseless receiver rule enforcement may be working as intended for the wide receivers.  For the first time since we began data collection in 2010 the second most concussed position on the filed is not the WR’s.  It is the TE’s and the OL is very close to passing the WR’s as well.  See, another reason to look at the numbers!

All of that being said stop trying to pin the blame on one person or entity, there are players that continue to know the risks and play with concussion symptoms, Antonio Cromartie I’m looking at you (most recently).

Here are your Week 14 numbers and season recap (indicates previous weeks #’s):

  • 14 concussions/head injuries found from Week 14 (17)
  • 133 regular season concussions noted (119)
  • 187 total concussions in 2013 (173)
  • 9.50 Concussions/week (9.15)
  • 162 Projected Concussions (156)
  • 0.63 Concussions/game (.61)
  • 10.97% InR (10.57)
  • 9.52% EInR (9.18)

Running Totals for Regular Season:

  • 72 Offensive (64) – 61 Defense (55)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 7 (7), RB – 14 (12), TE – 19 (16), WR – 17 (15), OL – 15 (14), DL – 10 (8), LB – 13 (13), DB – 38 (34)
    • Team Breakdown
      • JAX – 10
      • OAK – 9
      • MIN – 8
      • NYJ – 7
      • GB, PIT, SD, STL, WAS – 6
      • CLE, SEA, TB, TEN – 5
      • DEN, NE, NO, SF – 4
      • BAL, CIN, DET, HOU, KC, MIA, PHI – 3
      • ATL, CAR, DAL, IND – 2
      • ARI, BUF, CHI, NYG – 1
      • none – 0

Our definition of Incidence Rate (InR) is projected concussions/46 players taking the field per team per game, our definition of Epidemiological Incidence Rate (EInR) is projected concussions/53 man roster per team.

  • Comparing to past seasons the following has been found after Week 14: # (2012, 2011, 2010):
    • Regular Season Concussions – 133 (149, 138, 127)
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5 Responses to “2013 Week 14 NFL Concussion Report – UPDATED”

  1. Charles December 13, 2013 at 14:03 #

    In the Dallas/Chicago game, did you see the Dallas MLB (no. 50) put the crown of his helmet right into the left hip of the Chicago RB? He went down, came out, apparently was cleared via the so-called protocol, came back briefly and then left permanently. He looked awful; it was creepy imo. The announcer said it was that “stinger area”. So he didn’t have a concussion; just what is in reality a spinal cord injury — and they let him go back in.cc

    • Dustin Fink December 13, 2013 at 15:02 #

      I did indeed. I can say confidently that they cleared his neck the first time out, saw on TV. But I wonder if Lee said anything about his head. He did not appear on this weeks official injury report. I would classify this as suspect…

      • Charles December 13, 2013 at 19:17 #

        Thanks… imo we are going to find out, sooner or later, that he was concussed by that hit… Or to put it another way, it is highly improbable that he was not concussed. His demeanor when he tried to play again, the whole presentation… was shocking and sickening to me. I played linebacker in my youth. When things are going terrible and the third stringers are taking to the field, and you are the starting mlb, nobody… NOBODY on the sidelines wants to see you.

  2. Ed Lewis December 19, 2013 at 22:10 #

    Years ago, I played football in Phila for 5 years and saw only one concussion. I blame the current tight fitting helmets. When the head is hit, the only thing that can rattle is the brain. Our one-piece plastic helmets had cloth straps with a pad at the top of the head. You may suffer a bump, lump, or bruise, but a concussion was much less likely. 40-50 years ago NFL helmets were of this type, resulting in far less concussions.

    • Dustin Fink December 20, 2013 at 00:52 #

      Ed,
      Thanks for the comment…

      Also years ago players were not nearly the massive “machines” they are now… Much bigger and faster… Although the helmet angle is an interesting one, to me it is just another rabbit hole…

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