Tag Archives: #ConcussionBlogConcussionReport

2013 End of Season NFL Concussion Report

31 Jan

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.

It has been weeks since you have seen us post about the concussion numbers in the NFL.  A quick explanation; at the end of the year with trouble finding Week 17 numbers we search for a few days, then we sit on numbers and cross check with sources which takes time.  Finally going through and I.D.ing other factors like helmets and new parameters takes some time.  It also helps that the past few years the NFL waits until Super Bowl Week to release their numbers.

Let us first opine about the released NFL numbers via NY Times;

In the preseason and the regular season, players sustained 228 concussions, down from 261 in 2012, when concussions rose 4 percent compared with the previous year. Helmet-to-helmet contact caused almost half the concussions this season, down from 53 percent in 2012. But more concussions occurred when players hit their heads against an opposing player’s knee or the ground.

The whole number for the season is only nine off from what we collected here.  Which tells me that what we are doing is as accurate as you can find anywhere outside of the NFL (actual players notwithstanding).  But where were the missed nine?  I happen to think its a combination of preseason and Week 17.  So, we are happy with our collection system.

The 13% drop is both accurate and inaccurate in our estimation.  Hows that you ask?  In the regular season Continue reading

About these ads

2013 Week 16 NFL Concussion Report

27 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.

This is the last set of numbers I feel most confident about, as you will recall this coming week has proven to be difficult at best when finding concussions in the NFL.  Rather than boring you in this post with the reasons please click on the link above for that information.

In Week 16 there were only 13 concussions found, I say “only” because it seemed to Twitter, broadcasts and me, there were more players that exhibited something on the field that warranted further investigation.  The skeptic in me is also screaming at me to say that playoff eligible teams – especially those that have not clinched – are “gaming” they injury system.  To be fair, concussions are not the only injury being messed around in the “grey area”.  As I said that is the skeptic in me, the recent weeks have placed some better faith in the reporting system this season.

Something must be done to address – at the least acknowledge what we have found – the massive back-end of the season concussions we continue to see on a yearly basis.  The numbers cannot be easily washed away with the narrative that all teams are playing (versus bye weeks) as we have exposed.  It is very stark, the difference: weeks 1-9 there were 67 concussions in weeks 10-16 there have been 92.  When the NFL talks of expanding the schedule to 18 games I fear we will see an even bigger increase in the back half of the season.  There is a possible solution (more of a band-aid) though: two bye weeks.  It will expand the season further, but I don’t think the NFL really minds, in fact I think that is the overall goal.

Further observations of the numbers show the perpetual story of defensive backs being concussed most often.  As of this report the DB’s make up 26% of all concussions (41), the next closes it tight ends at 14% (22).  In fact, running backs (17), wide receivers (21), offensive lineman (21), linebackers (16) and TE’s are somewhat equal.  Even the defensive lineman are close to that grouping with 13.  Making all positions on the field outside of quarterbacks, DB’s and P/K somewhat equal in terms of the injury.

While we would like to see as few as possible, if concussions were equal across all positions (outside of QB, P/K) it would show that the injury is becoming a random incident.  Which is really the best case possible.  However, its not and the DB’s continue to be the most at risk players on the field, yet they also have some of the most restrictive tackling rules in place.

Now let us look at the Week 16 report (previous weeks numbers): Continue reading

The Abyss of NFL Concussion Reporting: Week 17

27 Dec

As football fans we are either gearing up to root on our favorite teams for a playoff and hopeful Super Bowl run, or the other 20 fan bases time is now spent looking at coaching changes, player acquisitions and the draft.  It has been a fun and exciting season for various reasons.  In terms of concussion data collection it will complete our fourth year and it has been a success once again.

However Week 17 provides for some of the hardest data capturing possible for the NFL.

During the season when teams play the following week they must report injuries and then they are listed on the NFL Official Injury Report prior to the game being played.  This mechanism, even with its overt flaws, is the launching point for our data.  With the regular season ending there are only eight teams that must report injuries the following week, effectively eliminating 3/4′s of the league.

This where you the reader can come in – and I am once again doing my yearly begging – if you note a concussion via a broadcast or twitter or the interwebs, please pass it along to us.  Although @nflconcussions does a tremendous job, he too probably welcomes the help.

So here is your homework for Week 17:

  • Watch games and enjoy games – root on your interests
  • If a concussion is noted send it via Twitter (@concussionblog) or email (theconcussionblog.comcast.net) in this format:
    • Player, Team, link/credit/notes
    • EX: Joe Schmoe, NYG, broadcast 3Q
    • EX: Joe Schmoe, KC, @examplehandlehere *link*
    • EX: @concussionblog RT: @examplehandlehere ……
  • I welcome any questions regarding the concussions during the games, but unless I catch it on RedZone or you have a video link I will be unable to answer to specifically.

Think of this as “OUR” project for the end of the NFL season, crowd sourcing style!

Thanks in advance.

2013 Week 15 NFL Concussion Report

20 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.

There were three “firsts” this past week in the NFL Concussion Report, one of them had never occurred before in our data collection.  In the incident where Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber was demolished by Terence Garvin (fined $25k) our very first P/K was logged as a concussion.  I know, you wont see Huber’s name with “concussion” or “head” on the Official Injury Report from the NFL but this case is a classic instance of Fink’s Rule being put into effect (second “first”);

when there is a diagnosed fracture of the face and jaw (excluding the nasal bone) the forces absorbed during the injury will be beyond a threshold to elicit a concussive episode.  This would indicate to the clinician that the person should ALSO be evaluated for a concussion.

Alternate definition: when the terms “jaw injury”, “head contusion” , or “concussion-like symptoms” are present in an injury report one should be aware that forces were elicited to the head, and an assessment for a concussion should be indicated.

If you recall Huber spent the hours after the game getting his jaw wired shut and discovering he had a neck fracture.  Although there is no confirmation of a concussion from the league, team or player at this point, we will include in our data set, like we have done in previous seasons for other players.  It’s very difficult to imagine, while watching that train wreck, that Huber did not experience any brain trauma.

The third “first” of the week came just yesterday as we received news that Andrew Whitworth – another CIN Bengal – was concussed in practice.  Looking back on records for this year, this is the first concussion that occurred in practice this season.  It is important to note this, as previous seasons have had more concussions in practice.  It would make sense that the CBA rules of decreased contact days have really helped (2 – 2012, 5 – 2011).

Another notable number is: 200.  That is the total number of concussions we have logged since the opening of training camp.  In 2010 there was 172 concussions found from training camp through the playoffs, in 2011 there was 225 and in 2012 we found 237.  As you can see the overall number seems to be trending back to what we have seen the past few years.  Regular season numbers appear to be down by a factor of one week, again a very good reason to catalog the data and see the overall picture.

In hopes of not burying the lede here; for those interested in the comparison of weeks 1-3 and 13-15 – weeks in which every team was playing – and the effect of late season “wear and tear” on the brain here you go: 21 vs. 44.  Further, in the first nine weeks there was 67 concussions in the next six we have seen 79 concussions.  It seems pretty obvious to me that there is a cumulative effect here.

Quick reminder, Continue reading

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 Continue reading

2013 Week 13 NFL Concussion Report UPDATED

6 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.

=====

John Jerry, OL, MIA added to the list after initial post, see corrections the stats, narrative will remain unchanged.

=====

There was a late addition to the Week 12 report as Tennessee tight end Craig Stevens appeared after last weeks post, bringing the 12 week regular season total to 102.  However, Week 13 has provided another weekly high in terms of concussions, for which Will Carroll was correct with his conjecture.  Although current listings only show 10 (new) concussions/head injuries we found 16 this week, including some peculiar omissions;

  • Darrelle Revis – as noted by @nflconcussions, is listed as chest/shoulder but he admitted to being unconscious on the play where he was hurt.  This is an automatic inclusion for concussion.
  • Mike Jenkins – although cleared to play, and he did against DAL, he was removed during the game with “concussion-like” symptoms.  Guess he may be “pregnant-like”, or perhaps they rushed him through?  Regardless NFL protocol states that a player cannot be cleared to play unless he has recovered from the previous injury.  This means that even if this were an exacerbation of the previous concussion, it will be listed as his second, in two weeks.

If you have been reading this weekly post, from the beginning, we have been warning you about the inevitable-exponential increase in concussions that occur late in the season.  We have documented this over the past three years and again are seeing this unfold (8, 8, 11, 11 in weeks 8-11).  Yes, it is partly because all teams are playing in during the week (no more byes) but, it is also due to the repetitive nature of being hit in the head.  If you recall weeks 1-3 all teams were playing as well and there were 21 total in that time frame.  This past week we have seen 76% of the concussions we saw in the first three weeks, combined.  If concussions were truly a random event that was not compounded by cumulative effects we should see “statistically” similar numbers.  In order for that to happen the NFL would have to report only 4-7 more concussions over the next two weeks, unlikely.

In fact the 16 found concussions this week are tied for second all time for most in a week; behind Week 12 of 2012 (19) – weeks 11 of 2012 and 14 of 2011 also had 16 found concussions.  With all of that said the pace for this years concussion numbers is below the basement of 2010 and WELL BELOW last years total.

Now on to the breakdown of concussions for Week 13 (indicates previous weeks numbers):  Continue reading

2013 Week 12 NFL Concussion Report

29 Nov

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.

It is now the “witching hour” in the NFL season.  From Week 13 on there are no more byes and every team is playing in the week, giving us a truer picture of the concussions in the league.  As we have noted the past few weeks we have began to see an increase in weekly reports (we added one concussion to last weeks total, found after the fact); weeks 10 and 11 have produced 11 concussions each up from the previous and steady high of 8.  It looks innocent enough but that is a 37.5% increase.  This past week was not different as we found 12 concussions.

The overall number of concussion in the regular season now has eclipsed 100, but this has been the latest in the season it has occurred since we began tracking concussions in 2010.  Interestingly enough the number of actual injuries in the NFL has seen a dramatic rise which brings me back to what some league medical people relayed to me; “we have traded heads for knees.”  I was and am not so sure about that statement as a rule, but it makes logical sense.  From my point of view as an athletic trainer I feel I have seen more broken legs and ACL’s than ever before.  It is difficult to figure out why this is happening, but many theories are out there.

Going forward I anticipate the numbers to stay at or above double digits until Week 17 (when we all know teams don’t report concussions when they are not playing the following week).  With that, I don’t think we will reach the heights of previous seasons; I am concerned about that.  Also, I had a question via Twitter regarding how many of these are 2nd concussions for players; the answer is seven.

Now as we all sit here with Turkey Day hangover (from the food, people – OK maybe from the booze too) here is your Week 12 Concussion Report (indicates previous week numbers):

UPDATED: Craig Stevens found after original publish… Continue reading

2013 Week 11 NFL Concussion Report

22 Nov

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.

It is official, every team in the League has now reported a regular season concussion.  This is the earliest in a season this has occurred, which is a good thing, in my opinion.  In the past three years there seemed to be at least one team that had not reported a concussion all the way until Week 15 or later.  There have been cases of a team not reporting a single concussion during the entire season.  Knowing what we know about concussions, with the information from players over the years this would seem almost impossible.  The injury of concussion is going to occur in football, why be scared of it.  Just deal with it properly when one is identified.  That brings me to my next rant of the week, Wes Welker.

As we watched on Sunday night, Welker took a shot as he was going to the ground and the ball came lose.  It was postulated that he lost consciousness (it will never be readily admitted to) and was subsequently evaluated on the field.  The Broncos say at that time he was evaluated for a neck injury, which is very plausible.  If the med staff didn’t see the mechanism or sudden results they can only go off what the player was telling them at that moment.  He returned the next series for one play and was finally removed for concussion.  The question is what transpired in that roughly seven minute time.  Possibly the NFL booth observer could have radioed down to take a look.  If that were the case then this communication needs to happen quicker.  Possibly Welker himself realized something was amiss and alerted sideline personnel.  If that were the case then delayed symptoms could be to blame, or finally he had some wherewithal in that moment, or the sideline personnel had the chance to interview other sideline people and get the whole picture.  There is a lot we don’t know and won’t know during that time frame.  The ultimate good thing was that he was removed and classified as a concussion.  In defense of the athletic trainers and docs, I have seen/been part of many cases where delayed reporting happens.  It sucks that I miss them, but it happens, it is the nature of the beast here.  Concussions are primarily subjective, in the case of Welker, it should have been spotted that he was incapacitated during the hit.  But even trained eyes can be blocked out by other players on the field.

As of yesterday it was reported that Continue reading

2013 Week 10 NFL Concussion Report

15 Nov

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.

There has been a spike in concussions.  I repeat, there was a spike in the number of concussions this past week.  In all honesty people should not be surprised by this occurrence; what should be surprising to all of us is the fact that it took ten weeks for there to be double-digit concussions in a single week.

Although Week 10 produced 11 concussions it is not near a record for a week.  That distinction belongs to Week 12 of last season, where there was 19 concussions reported.  People should not be worried about the 11 concussions, as it was expected at this point in the season.  We have noticed that in the past three years over 60% of all concussions reported occur between Week 10 and Week 16 (we feel it would be greater if Week 17 reporting were mandatory).

Our simple hypothesis is: cumulative effects of traumatic head trauma (although mostly sub-concussive) predisposes the brain to a concussive event with less force required late in the season.  I cannot think of any other factor that would produce a significant increase in concussions in the back 1/3 of the season.  There is three weeks of byes with 4 weeks of full scheduling.  If you just compare W1-W7 (51 this year) to W10-W16 the numbers are even more spread out.

I would say expect more of the double digits than the single digits from here on out.  That being said, expecting one thing and the seeing the results are another.  Quick note; welcome to the real world Buffalo…  Let us move on the Week 10 numbers (indicate previous week);  Continue reading

2013 NFL Week 9 Concussion Report

8 Nov

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.

The steady number of concussions continue, there were eight reports this week.  There is not really much to say at this point about the frequency or lack of frequency of concussions; the next important date/time frame is the Week 13 report.  That is when all teams will be off their bye’s and the point at which we have traditionally seen a spike in concussions.

However I do find some interesting notes about this and last week.  We noted we would be interested to see how Keith Tandy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was listed on the Official Injury Report.  Although there was a very credible tweet regarding his concussion, he was officially listed as “ankle”.   This one example highlights the issue we have discussed with the NFL OIR, it can be difficult to ascertain all concussions just by following that data set alone.  Secondly, we noted last week that the Miami Dolphins were the only team in the league without reporting a concussion from the beginning of training camp.  Well, that has changed as Nolan Carroll was found this week.  This means every team has now reported a concussion at some point.  There are, however, three teams yet to report a regular season concussion: Arizona, Buffalo and Chicago.

Let us present the Week 9 Report (indicate previous weeks numbers);  Continue reading

2013 Week 7 NFL Concussion Report

25 Oct

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.

What if?  What if the trend we are seeing continues?  What does that mean?

Interesting and important questions; being mindful that this is one year out of four and we have yet to see a yearly trend of lower concussion numbers.  Simply it means that, perhaps, the NFL is on the right path.  The numbers are starting to become hard to ignore and we have what some like to call a “developing story.”

What I don’t want to see is those reporting on this to pontificate that the NFL has a handle on this issue, it will take a few more years of this type of reporting to proclaim that.  All of that being said it is very interesting to us here and worthy of a deeper look.  As we highlighted last week, it seems that policies are starting to take root.

The numbers are as follows for concussions/head injuries through Week 7 (indicates previous weeks values);

  • 6 concussions/head injuries found from Week 6 (7)
  • 45 regular season concussions noted (45)
  • 105 total concussions in 2013 (99)
  • 7.29 Concussions/week (7.50)
  • 123 Projected Concussions (127)
  • 0.48 Concussions/game (.50)
  • 8.41% InR (8.66)
  • 7.30% EInR (7.52)

Running Totals for Regular Season:

  • 25 Offensive (22) – 26 Defense (23)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 3 (1), RB – 6 (6), TE – 3 (3), WR – 8 (8), OL – 5 (4), DL – 5 (4), LB – 6 (6), DB – 15 (13)
    • Team Breakdown
      • JAX, NYJ, SD, WAS – 4
      • DET, OAK – 3
      • CAR, GB, HOU, KC, NE, PHI, PIT, SF, TEN – 2
      • ATL, BAL. CIN, CLE, DAL, DEN, IND, MIN, NYG, PHI, PIT, STL, TB – 1
      • ARI, BUF, CHI, MIA, NO, SEA – 0

Our definition of Incidence Rate (InR) is projected concussions/45 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 7: # (2012, 2011, 2010):
    • Regular Season Concussions – 51 (64, 66, 60)

2013 Week 6 NFL Concussion Report

18 Oct

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.

Did you know it was two years ago this week that the NFL put in the fine system for targeting and helmet contact?

The trend continues.  At the beginning of the season we were reserved on making presumptions of the low number of concussions we were seeing.  Although we still want to wait until the end of the season to solidify our thoughts it can be said that through six weeks the numbers are significantly down.  We are over 1/3 of the way into the NFL season and we have seen the total number of concussions reported/found to be – hopefully – a good sign.

There could be a myriad of reasons for this;

  • Positive
    • Players are grasping the lower target zone
    • Players are respecting the injury, therefore one another (case in point Larry Fitzgerald crack-back blocks last night)
    • Players are receiving better management of concussion
    • Less contact in practice is paying off
    • Better rule enforcement
  • Skeptical Thinking
    • Teams being less forthcoming
    • Players hiding the injury

As you can see the good outweighs the “bad” in this line of thinking which is a good start.  Again we want to reiterate that after Week 12 and before Week 17 there is usually a spike of concussions.  Two reasons for this: 1) all teams will have completed byes and more players on the field and 2) the possibility of cumulative effects leading to more concussions, a threshold if you will.

As it stands now there have been 45 reported/found regular season concussions which is about one weeks numbers lower than the previous three years average of 54.67, through six weeks.  If the numbers stay on this course we would be looking at approximately a 19 concussion drop or about 11%.  This would be a massive decline, considering that the numbers have risen for the past three years.

The above is a good thing, I for one am hoping for all the positives to be true.

Before we get to the numbers some QUICK NOTES: Continue reading

2013 Week 4 NFL Concussion Report

4 Oct

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.

With the relatively low regular season number and usual scouring needed to find concussions being less cumbersome now we have had time to delve back into the preseason concussions.  We note that preseason numbers are not reliable, but having the concussions cataloged can tell us some interesting things.  Notably, we can look at the offense/defense split, the position and the number of players that were cut.  Although in most cases the reason for players being let go is strictly performance based, it is worth the notation.

In preseason there is a larger population of players, therefore we should expect higher numbers – one would think.  However, the majority of playing time goes to the reserves and those not secured on the roster, your “non-superstars” if you will.  Also we have noted in some cases from the past that the “better” players once getting a preseason concussion have no impetus to return to the field when the games don’t mean much.  For these reasons and others the preseason number of concussions is more of an abstract painting, if you will.

While examining the preseason concussions we were able to eliminate one from our previous reports, solidifying the preseason concussion at 54 rather than 55.  With that here are some of the findings: Continue reading

2013 Week 3 NFL Concussion Report

28 Sep

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.

And the rise is beginning, in Week 3 we cataloged eight concussions thus far, bringing the total up to 21 for the season.  It is tough to predict for anyone but our extensive history of collecting the information tells us that single digit weeks are nearly coming to an end.  I say that with some reservation, as the numbers thus far have been well below what we have observed in the past.

Two players found two new ways to get on the Report, however they do represent concussions in NFL players.  First, Isaac Redman capitulated to having a concussion in Week 2 and playing though it.  Although, the Steelers are vehemently denying this occurred, we will take the word of the player in this case, after all they are the only ones who truly can tell someone if they had a concussion.

The second player is rookie linebacker Sio Moore of the Oakland Raiders, Continue reading

2013 Week 2 NFL Concussion Report

20 Sep

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 is early in the year but there are two things that strike me, already.  Mind you that it IS early I have not seen any “gaming of the system” to produce my observations.  This leads me to my first take from two weeks:

  • While watching the game and looking at Twitter/online there have been more in-game concussion evaluations publicized then the past three years.  Often I have heard/read “X player is being taken to the locker room for a concussion evaluation.”  This is indeed a good thing.  I don’t know if this was a directive from the league to make sure people know they are trying (I have asked in previous years to be as transparent as possible with this) but what this does in my mind is let people know this is the proper protocol for all levels.  Certainly there have been players returned to the game after passing the test, which I am fine with.  However, there has been a case of a player being removed, passed the test and then having symptoms on Monday, which is also understandable.

2013 Week 1 NFL Concussion Report

13 Sep

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).

So it begins, our fourth season of compiling a report on the NFL concussions.  We were the first to bring you this report and ones like it, but over the years it has evolved.  We feel that this listing is the best one can get outside of the league itself.  We are using a variety of data mining techniques such as (but not limited to);

  • NFL Official Injury Report – obviously the official listings, but not all are always on there.  Players only missing practice due to the injury or may not play will be listed.  This was a problem when we began in 2010 as players would be cleared on a Monday or Tuesday and not hit the OIR.  Recently, to the credit of the league, all players that have had a concussion disclosed have been listed.  Another issue with the OIR is that if a player had co-injuries often times both are not listed.  Finally, the OIR has been known not to list concussions otherwise listed in media.  An example of the possible confusion played out between week 1 and 2 of this year; Jeff Cumberland was reported to have been removed from a game due to concussion on twitter (then changed to “chin”) and reported as “chin” in the OIR.
  • CBS Sports NFL Injury List – often not that different from the OIR, but has at times listed injuries that have been “undisclosed” on the OIR.  This outlet also provides ideas of injuries before the official injury is listed on the OIR
  • Twitter – various sources are good at cataloging concussions, most notably is @nflconcussions.  However, the feeds of teams and reporters are used to clue us in on concussions.
  • Other sources – this would be inclusive of simple observation of a trained professional in concussions – Dustin Fink, MS ATC, Fink’s Rule, team sources and in some cases players themselves have been used by this method.  Again is the classic example of Jeff Cumberland in Week 1, video shows the MOI with the reaction/signs of the player on the field.  This leads us to include Jeff Cumberland in our numbers.

This report initially was released on Thursday, Continue reading

2012 Concussion Report – End of Regular Season

10 Jan

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).

This season was not unlike many NFL seasons before; many story lines (Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson), surprises (Seattle), the youth of the league (Crazy good Rookies) and of course the injuries.  The freshest being the knee injury of Robert Griffin III and his subsequent surgery.  For the second straight year the concussion was the most talked about injury in the league and rightly so.  As much as a league has said it is changing, currently it is not, could have actually copied and pasted pretty much the entire 2011 season wrap up and it would be suffice for 2012.

I like to look back at the suggestions I made at the end of 2011 and see if any of it was addressed, and I can say; kind of.  I proposed six different ideas for the league to address and two were actually adhered to, while three of them were brushed upon and one was not even addressed.

The two proposals I feel the league addressed was limiting contact in practice and enforcing rules that are already on the books.  Naturally, the later was controversial in almost every game; it seemed at some point there would be a receiver getting hammered and a flag flying for contact to the head.  Of all the penalties I saw this past year only about 15% of them were incorrect (Vernon Davis hit is one that sticks out).  That being said the officials are getting the vast majority correct, and I am here to tell you its not easy trying to adjudicate when athletes are literally flying around you.

The NFL basically played lip service to the proposals dealing with; an official concussion database, promotion of proper management and helmets.  The last subject is more about removing the old style helmets from the league: Riddell VSR4, Schutt AiR Advantage and Adams helmets.  I will say that there were way, way, way less of those on the field this year.  The tricky thing about helmets is that a database on what is being worn does not exist either (odd [/sarcasm]), but from just watching it seemed many players had switched it up a bit to more recent technology.  Probably the most farcical of these proposals touched on was the use of USA Football and NFL players to “promote safety” in commercials.  Although it brought attention to how coaches have safety first in mind it did NOTHING to address concussion management and really how to properly handle this injury.  Listen folks its not that hard and it wouldn’t cause a panic for the “football mom’s”, rather it may make them more secure knowing about proper management; add to that the NFL can plainly and overtly state that because they are professional ADULTS they may treat concussions differently, but the correct way is ‘X’.

The untouched proposal will once again be #1 on our proposal list for this year.  How bout we move to the stats from the regular season, following the regular season numbers are the total numbers.  Getting information in the postseason is worse than getting information from rivals during the Cold War.  I am confident the NFL now has all that monitored, just make it public.

On to the stats through Week 17 (2011, 2010); Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 16

28 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).

REMINDER: I am asking for your help this week; as you probably have noticed by my tweets and facebook posts.  The NFL teams that do not make the playoffs and don’t play in the Wild Card round (24 of them) do not have to report concussions after this week.  I am looking for you the reader to tweet/email us any concussion found.  It has to be within these parameters:

  1. Reported by team/media
  2. Have a source

As always you can tweet/send me info about a particular instance of questionable action taken after a huge hit.  I thank you in advance as we are pumped to possibly have the first ever “official” Week 17 concussion report.

Week 16 brought us the “usual” numbers but an unusual occurrence of a player fessing up to a concussion four days later, as Greg McElroy divulged his injury to the team late in the week.  Along with the “usual” numbers we have surpassed last years total concussion count in the regular season (by four and counting).

I really don’t have an opinion this week to share with all of you so let us get onto the numbers for the past week in the NFL… Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 15

21 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).

After last week and the NFL reporting only six concussions this week picked right back up to previous levels.  We have unearthed 14 concussion for Week 15; showing that last week was definitely an outlier.  Since Week 11 the number of concussions per week were as follows: 16, 19, 15, 6, and 14.  As my two-year old’s favorite TV show says “one of these things are not like the others”.

Our data collection, the most comprehensive since 2010, has shown that more than 50% of ALL concussions in the NFL occur after week number 9, or the back half of the season.  As of this week we have surpassed the Week 1-9 total of 80; there have been 82 since Week 10.  Of course the pundits will tell you that all the byes have taken place, so more teams means more concussions; true.  However, as the season wears on and the accumulation of hits to the head compile, the theory of cumulative subconcussive blows eventually creates concussive episodes may also be a culprit of our bigger numbers in the second half.

Going forward into the last two weeks – wait one week (I will get that in a second) it will be interesting to see if the trend continues or if there will be another “outlier”.  About that “one” week thing I just mentioned; sure there is two games left but because 67.5% of the league is done after Week 17 concussion reporting is horrible.  As was explained last week, teams will not – do not – report concussions if they are not playing a game in the 1st round of the playoffs.  It takes work from the media and other information gathering Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 14

14 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 seems that concussion tracking has hit a “major market” finally with the launch of the PBSFrontline/ESPN Concussion Watch, which is another good source for information.  Their Concussion Watch includes all players that were listed on the NFL Official Injury reports, with either “concussion” or “head” injuries.  This gathers a vast majority of the concussions but they will miss some.

I had the opportunity to pseudo-collaborate with the entities that are compiling this information (via phone and email contact), and we discussed how their numbers would be different from ours here or a place like @NFLConcussions on Twitter.  Our discrepancies go to further the hot mess that is the NFL concussion issue summarized by the Fainaru brothers today.

I not only utilize the Official Injury Report but other methods; data mining and sources.  I had to go that route after Will Carroll explained to me that teams only have to list players that are/may be in a position to play that week or will be out.  In other words, if for some reason a player was concussed and was told he was concussed – even reported as concussed – but miraculously had no issues come Wednesday deadline for the OIR then they would not be listed.  Likewise if a player Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 13 – LATE

11 Dec

Guess the holiday season has many people behind on tasks, including yours truly.  Anyhow, here is the report from after 13 weeks in the NFL.  The report for week 14 should make it to this space by the end of the week (cross your fingers, ha).

During Week 13 we found 15 concussions, seems the weekly average is going up.  We now have 142 regular season concussions – 190 since camp opened.  NOTES: The offense continues to hold roughly a 10% advantage in concussions, which is weird it should be a 50/50 split…  Including preseason DB’s have more concussions (48) then the rest of the defense (38) – 36/28 split in regular season…  Interestingly RB, TE, OL, DL and LB all have similar occurrence; WR and DB’s are higher and QB’s way low…  I think we are going to see a new season “high water” mark, credit to Will Carroll for calling this before the season…  ()’s represent last week’s numbers…;

  • 142 Concussions/head injuries (127)
  • 10.92 Concussions/week (10.60)
  • 185 Projected Concussions (180)
  • 0.73 Concussions/game (0.70)
  • 12.90% InR (12.49)
  • 10.95% EInR (10.61)
  • 70 Offensive (78) – 57 Defense (64)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 7 (7), RB – 14 (16), TE – 13 (14), WR – 24 (27), OL – 12 (14), DL – 10 (13), LB – 15 (15), DB – 32 (36)
  • Team Breakdown
    • OAK – 12
    • DET, JAX – 8
    • CLE, IND, KC, WAS – 7
    • NE, NYJ, PIT – 5
    • CAR, CHI, DAL, MIN, NYG, SEA, SF STL, TB, TEN – 4
    • ARI, BUF, CIN, DEN, GB, MIA, NO, PHI – 3
    • BAL, HOU, SD – 2
    • ATL – 1
    • NONE – 0

Our definition of Incidence Rate (InR) is projected concussions/45 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 13: # (2011, 2010):

  • Regular Season Concussions – 127 (122, 119)

2012 NFL Concussion Report Through 12 Weeks

29 Nov

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).

I will save the “soap box” for another day as I will get right to the meat of it.

Numbers are rising, but naturally there are more games as all byes have taken place.  There are more players on the field and more plays so there will be, by logic alone, more concussions.  Our research over the past few years has shown that 55% of all concussions found happen after Week 9.  Both an indication of more games but also prolonged exposure to micro trauma.

This week we say another first, a new high water mark for a weekly find; 19 players were concussed last week, roughly 15% of all concussions to this point.  I have some reasons for this, the most poignant being that I believe the NFL is starting to get it right.  With so many eyeballs on the game now, especially looking at concussions and how it impacts the game they better start to get it right.  I have had multiple sources tell me – which is hard for me to believe but I have heard it more than once – the “crapstorm” that is the NFL medical in-game coverage is now just catching up to what we know.  One person told me that some (stresses some) athletic trainers are still learning about concussion detection, another told me (which I already knew) the doctors being on retainers for the teams are too conflicted.  My most trusted source tells me that players actually have a protocol of their own to evade detection, which they practice from time to time.

Regardless there was a perfect storm this past week to give us the 19 found.  Now onto the stats, 127 regular season concussions – 175 since camp opened.  Notes: due to my 20 month old son “rearranging” my database I rechecked numbers there may be some differences from last week (the #’s are sound)… DB’s and WR’s are now starting to rack up…  ()’s represent last week’s numbers…; Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Through Week 11

22 Nov

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).

Getting hit in the head by a friend – not hard enough to cause concussion symptoms – say 15 times on a weekly basis is probably not something you would enjoy.  Eventually after about 10 or so weeks of that, theory suggests that there has been enough “micro” damage that the threshold for “macro” damage has been reduced.  Further, if your friend hit you with the same force he/she has been doing previously you may get concussion symptoms, thus a concussion.

If the force was at the same “low-level” as the previous hits – that did not cause a concussion – then why now do you have a concussion?

Looking at it from another angle; if you hit concrete with a hammer – not with so much force it actually cracks – say 15 times a week for 10 or so weeks, will the concrete finally crack and break at some point?  I would venture to guess, yes.

This is now some of the focus on the research in concussions, trying to identify the actual causation/pathology for such cases.  Speaking from a logical perspective; getting hit in the head over and over and over and over and…  Well, over seems to cause damage, no?

This is possibly why we are seeing greater numbers of concussions in the later part of the season; sure awareness is better, but players have been exposed to hundreds and thousands of hits late in the season.  There was a good white paper written on how to possibly abate this issue in Youth Sports, composed by The Sports Legacy Institute.  It is not practical in the NFL, nor do I think that professional adults need to have this in place, unless they choose to – in its place the NFLPA negotiated fewer “hitting” days outside of games in the recent CBA.

This again gives me a chance to wonder aloud why high schools will not adopt a reduction in exposure/hit days for football?  I have generated a proposal on this for the Illinois High School Association that has yet to be brought to a vote.

Back to the NFL and the concussions found this past week, SIXTEEN of them, nearly doubling the average up to this point; the numbers have tied a single week high for the past three years.  Perhaps its a reaction to the week 9 issues, especially the heightened attention after three starting quarterbacks were sent out with concussions.

Now on to the stats for the week – 108 regular season & 156 since camp opened.  Notes: DB’s now make up 25% of all the regular season concussions (8 last week)…  Offense continues to outpace the defense…  Current numbers/stats are getting close to being in line with last year…  The least concussed positions are QB and DL…  The ()’s represent last week’s figures; Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Through Week 10

16 Nov

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly (not so much this year) 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 seems that one time each season there is a “watershed” moment on concussions in the NFL.  Week 10 was that week for 2012 (so far) as three starting quarterbacks were sidelined with concussion – Alex Smith, Mike Vick, and Jay Cutler.

Perhaps unnoticed in the coverage of the QB’s were the 9 other concussions that occurred, including three players having their second concussion – Cliff Avril, Brandon Meyers and Ryan Clark.  It would be Amari Spievey second as well, if you are counting the preseason concussions.

Certainly noticed by me was an ABSOLUTE first in NFL concussion history, which really should be noted.  Again, with all my research on concussions this is the first time this has occurred in the NFL.  This is the very first time that Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Week 9

8 Nov

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly (not so much this year) 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).

The NFL is at the theoretical half way point in the season as most teams have eight games in and a few have nine completed.  Usually this spot is a weekly tracking post; never fear I have been keeping track just haven’t found the time to post about it.

The NFL told me last week in Zürich that the eye-in-the-sky is being used and used often, Dr. York told the audience that in Week 6 there were 192 communications alone under this system.  That breaks down to 13 times per game on average; so the discussion seems to be there, but are the results?  It is far too soon to tell, but I am encouraged by the raw stats – knowing what was being discussed would be much more insightful.

Generally speaking the only “alarming” observation I am noting is the massive increase in offensive lineman concussions.  Suppose the theory of cumulative hits eventually creates a lower threshold for an observed concussion then this example/observation would be example number one;  after week 5 there were three OL concussions and after week 9 there are 10.

Other than Larry Fitzgerald amazingly missing only one play and Calvin Johnson admitting  Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,800 other followers