2012 NFL Concussion Report Through 12 Weeks

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…;

  • 127 Concussions/head injuries (108)
  • 10.6 Concussions/week (9.22)
  • 180 Projected Concussions (167)
  • 0.70 Concussions/game (0.65)
  • 12.49% InR (11.59)
  • 10.61% EInR (9.84)
  • 70 Offensive (60) – 57 Defense (48)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 7 (6), RB – 14 (12), TE – 13 (12), WR – 24 (18), OL – 12 (12), DL – 10 (7), LB – 15 (14), DB – 32 (27)
  • Team Breakdown
    • OAK – 9
    • CLE, DET, KC, WAS – 7
    • IND, JAX, NE, NYJ – 5
    • ARI, BUF, CHI, DEN, GB, MIA, NO, PHI, SEA, TB – 3
    • BAL, CIN, SD – 2
    • ATL, HOU – 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 – 127 (116, 108)

11 thoughts on “2012 NFL Concussion Report Through 12 Weeks

  1. Joe November 29, 2012 / 10:35

    Dustin, check out this months HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. You mentioned that it looks like the NFL is starting to get it right, but what they show in their piece is that the NCAA is definitely not. I was just shocked at the attitude of Troy Calhoun the Air Force Academy coach, and its a shame that he was the one singled out as I’m sure what he said doesnt represent just him as he’s a quality respected guy, but is more widespread. The brain images illustrating “dumb jocks” actually being created was unreal.

  2. steve November 30, 2012 / 15:59

    dr paul was on the fan 590 – just caught the tailend. there is a new study in the journal of neurosurgey. can u direct me to the editorial. thanks

  3. John Doherty November 30, 2012 / 16:35

    Today’s issue of the The Journal of Neurosurgery is devoted entirely to concussion. All of the published studies/commentaries/articles may be found at http://thejns.org. You do not need to be a subscriber to access them.

  4. John Doherty November 30, 2012 / 16:40

    Once on the “thejns.org” webpage, click on “Neurosurgical Focus.”

  5. BryanATC November 30, 2012 / 17:01

    I loved during the Thursday Night game last night Mike Mayock referred to Dunta Robinson as someone who would “ring your bell” in reference to his tackling.

    The reference in general is not exactly a great one as well as the person they were referencing (Robinson) has a decent history with concussions and poor tackling habits.

  6. John Doherty November 30, 2012 / 17:08

    The “Real Sports” segment was pretty well done. Interestingly, they used Nowinski and Cantu to bolster the PNG groups’ argument, that no more than 700 hits per season is probably safe, when Nowinski and Cantu, in their “White Paper” call for a limit of 1000 per season and 2000 per year. The one truly shoddy part was when they interviewed a former Harvard football player, severely afflicted with ALS, and more than inferred that his playing collegiate football caused his ALS. Suspicion does not equal proof.

  7. Tina December 4, 2012 / 14:17

    Dustin, I’ve been waiting to hear your thoughts about Sidney Rice’s injury during the Seahawks/Bears game.

    • Dustin Fink December 4, 2012 / 22:27

      On Twitter I made the comment I observed a Fencing Response… I also feel, even though it is not scientifically proven, that when seeing the FR that would indicate a concussion… Low and behold what did the Seahawks say Monday? Delayed symptoms, and that Rice did suffer a concussion…

  8. icat12 February 2, 2013 / 19:22

    Reblogged this on Lightening Struck Twice and commented:
    The NFL concussion debate continues. The total number of reported concussions have gone down slightly since 2011. However, when you think about 19 players being concussed in one week, 15% of the total, that’s a little ridiculous. And they’re blaming this number simply on “more games played,” I’m sorry to say that feels like a cop out to me. And to think that most parents are not allowing their kids to play anymore because of the dangers, parents that include NFL players themselves. According to Bart Scott, NFL linebacker, the most important thing to him is that his son remains healthy and is around for a long time. “I don’t want my son to play football,” said Scott. “I play football so he won’t have to. With what is going on, I don’t know if it is really worth it.” The widespread media coverage, widely against the NFL, has led to the discussion of safer helmets, increased suspensions and fines for illegal hits, and an increase in the monitoring of players’ brains. It’ll be interesting to see how they keep up with this concussion debate and what the future of the NFL looks like.

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