2014 NFL Concussion Report: Week 0

Sq 300 JThe 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).  You can also view our white paper with original research about concussion reporting in the NFL from 2010-2012 HERE.

It is 2014 and The Concussion Blog’s fifth year collecting concussion data from the NFL.  By now – I hope – you have read our original research about what we have done (can be found above by clicking “HERE”).  In that white paper you will see how data is collected and what we have noted to this point in data crunching.  It is obviously our hope that we can get more numbers and refine what we know.

Week 0 represents the end of the preseason; as you have noted we don’t do much than provide a quick glance at what happened on our way to the start of the season.  There are a myriad of reasons we don’t “crunch” the numbers like regular season.  The biggest is that there is not a standard reporting system in place for the teams – to the public – like that of the Official Injury Report of the NFL.  Regardless, with the better awareness and access (looking at @NFLConcussions) we can get better numbers in a preseason.  For example, when we started collecting data in 2010, we could only find FOUR preseason concussion, ONLY 1, 2, 3, FOUR.  This year there has been 68 found; quite the change.

The answer to your next question is, no.  No, concussions have not risen that drastically in five years.

It is our plan to bring to you a concise weekly update of the numbers, using your capture points for you the reader to make of it what you will.  However, going forward you should look for the following trends:

  • Does the Tight End continue to be the most prone to concussions
  • Will reporting numbers increase
  • Will the trend of defensive players being concussed remain constant
  • Will there be another uptick in starters being concussed
  • Will any rule modifications make a change in numbers
  • Will there be “creative titling” for head injuries (see stingers and concussion-like)

Again, it is not our agenda to create a “gotcha” for the NFL or any league, rather we would like to see a true baseline of concussions in the NFL.  So, we can truly see the effectiveness of all the changes being implemented.

Here is the snapshot of the NFL concussions from the preseason: 

  • Of the 68 found, 22 players were either put on Injured Reserve (9) or cut (13); meaning 22 players will not play this season after a concussion (player being cut is most likely due to performance)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 4, RB – 6, TE – 8, WR – 14, OL – 9, DL – 5, LB – 8, DB – 14, P/K – 0
  • 41 Offensive Players, 27 Defensive players
  • Team Breakdown:
    • 10 – CIN
    • 9 – OAK
    • 5 – ATL
    • 4 – DAL, NYJ, PIT
    • 3 – BAL, CLE, HOU, MIN
    • 2 – DEN, GB, MIA, NYG, SF
    • 1 – BUF, CAR, CHI, DET, IND, JAX, KC, PHI, SD, SEA
    • 0 – ARI, NE, NO, STL, TB, TEN, WAS

The following is the commentary on the above numbers…

We witnessed the highest reported concussions in a preseason, ever.  That does not mean we are having more concussions in the NFL.

The offense/defense break down continues with the trend of this injury becoming more prone to those that are the offensive side of the ball.

By position scarcity the TE remains the most prone to concussion.  While, the WR and DB split is constant at 50/50 which should be expected.

Team information is even more surprising this preseason.  Starting with the Bengals, as they reported ten concussions, which matches their regular season numbers from one year ago and eclipses their preseason + regular season numbers from 2012.  While, the Raiders continue to be the team with consistent numbers for reporting.  That should be duly noted by everyone; Oakland should be the gold-standard team in terms of concussion reporting.  Only seven teams did not report a preseason concussion, that is an all-time low.

Use these numbers to prime you for the season and remember that the NFL and NFLPA are trying hard to make it better.  But you cannot measure the “better” if you don’t have a true baseline to compare to.  We hope that number will become evident in the next few years.  For curiosity sake, we believe that concussions have a rate of 1-2 per team per game or roughly higher than 500 any given season (that would put the injury rate for concussion about 27%).

See you next week.

6 thoughts on “2014 NFL Concussion Report: Week 0

  1. Mark September 4, 2014 / 15:35

    Dustin, for the heck of it. Can we compile a list of players who have Vestibular/neck/cervical spine injury and a list of players who have Coup contra coup concussion, separating these injuries is crucial.
    Also which players are not wearing mouth guards when they have Injury, or concussion and did they wear orthodontics when they were younger or diagnose with temporal mandibular dysfunction. The type of mouth guard should be noted also, boil and bite, dental tooth protectors that ignore occlusion and Tmd, orthodontic orthotic appliances or neuromuscular Tens fit appliances that precisely position the jaw in relation to occlusion and address Tmd symptoms/ neck muscle asymmetry issues.

      • Mark September 5, 2014 / 16:57


        Is it possible to advance this or are we going to keep calling every injury a concussion. The research link above sheds light on what needs to be your focus. Categorizing injury cause, related symptoms and return to play strategies to each category. One size does not fit all. There are many holes in the current return to play protocols because the “establishment” has muddied the water.

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