More danger lurking on the field for pro football players?
Concerns over injuries have NFL players battling against a longer season,
Is it possible football is getting more violent? Probably not, but it does seem increasingly dangerous—especially in terms of head injuries— according to recently released data.
The National Football League Players Association’s injury report for the 2010 season found that most injury categories increased last season, compared to the previous eight. One of the sharpest increases was in the rate of players suffering at least one concussion in the season, which jumped from a low of 2% in 2006 to nearly 6% of players in the latest season.
The data was gathered by an independent research firm for the NFLPA based on publicly available data from Football Outsiders, a website for fans that publishes game statistics and analysis.
Recent academic research has provided increasing evidence of long-term health problems associated with football injuries, including the possible increased likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease or other problems related to head trauma. The league has increasingly acknowledged and focused on brain injuries this season, and news reports indicate that the growing number of reported concussions may stem, in part, from increased player awareness.
The injury report’s findings came as the players union faced the demand of team owners that the athletes accept a longer, 18-game season or face a potential lockout. Players counter that a longer season would result in additional and more serious injuries.
Players’ “health and safety are most important,” said Domonique Foxworth, a Baltimore Ravens cornerback and a representative for the NFLPA, during a during a Jan. 11 conference call with reporters regarding health and safety issues. “When players hear 18 games, they get really upset.”
The long-term effects of brain injuries are a growing concern.