The NFLPA recently requested that the various teams produce the official, federally-mandated paperwork regarding the number of workplace injuries suffered by pro football players.
Based on the numbers to which the union already has access, the NFLPA has created a report titled “Dangers of the Game.”
The study claims that players incurred 3.7 injuries per team per week, and that 63 percent of the players in the league suffered at least one injury.
Of those injuries, 37.7 percent of the injuries required a player to miss a game, with 12.6 percent of the injuries causing them to be placed on injured reserve.
The study finds that the number of players landing on injured reserve — more than 350 — greatly outpaced 2009, when 250 players finished the year on IR.
Also, nearly six percent of the players suffered concussions in 2010, up from four percent in 2009.
As it relates to non-concussions, the true number of injuries actually may be higher. Since the data is based on the league’s official injury reports, it’s likely if not definite that one or more teams concealed one or more injuries, especially since the “probable” designation contemplates a level of injury sufficiently slight to leave the player virtually certain to be available for normal duty.
The issue of concealing injuries could make that request for the teams’ OSHA 300 logs very interesting, especially if players opt to defy their coaches and tell anyone who’ll listen that they were injured when, according to the official report, they weren’t.
As to concussions, it’s difficult to compare 2010 to 2009, since the league didn’t take concussions as seriously as the league now does until Congress made it clear to the league in late October 2009 that failure to take concussions seriously would result in serious repercussions for the league.