2012 NFL Concussion Report Through Week 11

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;

  • 108 Concussions/head injuries (92)
  • 9.82 Concussions/week (9.20)
  • 167 Projected Concussions (156)
  • 0.65 Concussions/game (0.61)
  • 11.59% InR (10.86)
  • 9.84% EInR (9.22)
  • 60 Offensive (53) – 48 Defense (39)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 6 (6), RB – 12 (10), TE – 12 (10), WR – 18 (15), OL – 12 (10), DL – 7 (6), LB – 14 (14), DB – 27 (19)
  • Team Breakdown
    • OAK – 9
    • DET, KC, WAS – 7
    • CLE, JAX – 5
    • CAR, NYG, PIT, SEA – 4
    • BUF, DAL, IND, MIA, NE, NYJ, PHI, SF, STL, TB, TEN – 3
    • ARI, BAL, CHI, CIN, DEN, GB, MIN, NO – 2
    • ATL, HOU, SD – 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 11: # (2011, 2010):

  • Regular Season Concussions – 108 (107, 101)

4 thoughts on “2012 NFL Concussion Report Through Week 11

  1. Jon November 24, 2012 / 10:01

    Did anyone else watch the NYJ/NE game? According to Chris Collinsworth, if you are running with the ball and aren’t a defenseless receiver, it’s ok to get hit helmet to helmet by an opposing player. Is this guy an idiot or what?

  2. Dustin Fink November 24, 2012 / 11:49

    He is actually right… If you are not longer “defenseless” you can be hit in the head in a “normal” tackling movement… Now if you launch, or appear to be “head hunting” you will or should be flagged…

    There is a simple reason for this; the offensive player can lower his head, so the defender is allowed to as well…

    WE ALL SHOULD KNOW this is not sound tackling if you want to protect your head…

    BTW I am and not a big Cris Collinsworth fan either, it pains me to defend him…

    • Jon November 24, 2012 / 13:14

      I was commenting on the fact that Collinsworth was making it seem like there wasn’t any problem leading with the helmet to hit another player

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