2013 Week 15 NFL Concussion Report

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, and I will devote an entire – quick – post to this, but in Week 17, next week, we have trouble finding concussions.  I will be more specific in post but basically 20 teams don’t have another game and really 24 teams don’t have to report concussions following the game so I will need everyone’s help to dig up as many as possible in the abyss that is post Week 17.

Now on to the Week 15 numbers (indicates previous weeks #’s):

  • 13 concussions/head injuries found from Week 15 (14)
  • 146 regular season concussions noted (133)
  • 200 total concussions in 2013 (187)
  • 9.73 Concussions/week (9.50)
  • 165 Projected Concussions (162)
  • 0.65 Concussions/game (.63)
  • 11.24% InR (10.97)
  • 9.76% EInR (9.52)

Running Totals for Regular Season:

  • 80 Offensive (72) – 65 Defense (61)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 7 (7), RB – 15 (14), TE – 20 (19), WR – 19 (17), OL – 19 (15), DL – 11 (10), LB – 15 (13), DB – 39 (38), P/K – 1 (0)
    • Team Breakdown
      • JAX – 11
      • OAK – 9
      • MIN – 8
      • CIN, NYJ – 7
      • CLE, GB, PIT, SD, SEA, STL, WAS – 6
      • NE, TB, TEN – 5
      • DEN, NO, PHI, SF – 4
      • BAL, DET, HOU, IND, KC, MIA, NYG – 3
      • ARI, ATL, CAR, DAL – 2
      • BUF, CHI – 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 15: # (2012, 2011, 2010):
    • Regular Season Concussions – 146 (163, 150, 138)

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