NFL says 281 concussions were diagnosed in 2017, most in last six years

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The NFL says players were diagnosed with concussions a total of 281 times in 2017, which is the most the league has seen since it began tracking concussions consistently across the league six years ago.

The major increase in concussions came in practices, not in games. There were 45 concussions in practices in the preseason and 11 concussions in practices in the regular season. Both of those totals are the most ever seen by the league. There are always more concussions in preseason practices than in regular season practices because there is much more contact in preseason practices than in regular season practices.

In games, there were 46 concussions in the preseason and 179 concussions in the regular season. Both of those numbers represent increases over 2016, but neither represented an all-time high.

“Certainly we’re disappointed that the concussion numbers are up. It’s something that challenges us to roll up our sleeves and work hard to see that number come down,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer. “We take this as a challenge because we’re not going to be satisfied until we drive that number much lower.”

The question is whether that top number of 281 means there were actually more concussions suffered by players, or whether diagnostic efforts have improved. The league indicated that players are self-reporting concussion symptoms more often, which may indicate the latter — and which is good news, even if an increase in concussions is not good news.

15 responses to “NFL says 281 concussions were diagnosed in 2017, most in last six years

  1. So it looks like the rules they implemented to make it almost impossible to legally tackle somebody haven’t worked. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

  2. Until the NFL slows down play in the secondary by eliminating the illegal contact fouls on the defensive backs, they don’t have much of a chance of reducing concussions. However, this runs against the wide-open, high scoring affairs that they believe sells TV.

  3. I feel that concussions are a bit like holding penalties. If you look hard enough you can find one on every play. As large and powerful the “Big Uglies” are you have to believe some of them are experiencing head injuries regularly. It is common to see gashes in their helmets during the game and these come from helmet to helmet hits. I guess they aren’t as important as the “stars” …

    When I played in the 60’s we were told that if you saw stars after a hit, you probably experienced a concussion … but we should suck it up and keep playing. I do believe there are degrees of concussions and the league should address the severe ones. I experienced from light stars to being knocked out … as the head was always part of the game. After two fusions in my neck, I’m glad to see the head being removed from the game. It is no fun as you get older.

  4. If you play in the NFL you will be prone to taking hits. These repetitive hits may lead to long-term health issues.

    Players must now sign a waiver to be on an NFL roster that states they understand and accept these risks.

    Big hits are still allowed.

    What’s the problem here? Fans – Do you care how many concussions there are? Are you concerned about the long-term health effects of the players if they obviously aren’t? They all still sign up to play football.

    Thumbs up if you don’t care and we should stop paying attention to concussions.
    Thumbs down if you do care about player safety and want to see more rules, suspensions, fines and less hits.

  5. How about getting rid of the ridiculous distinction between defenseless player and runner, and start taking all head shots seriously?

    Eject enough of these headhunting bozos, and tackling techniques will improve quickly.

  6. Does that mean that we can have kick-off returns again?
    Damn, I miss kick-off returns.

    Remember when we were kids, and we could just drink water out of a hose?
    Now we need bottles, because our water is screwed.

    My point is that it is amazing how quickly we forget about how good we once had things.

    What was the question again?

  7. This will actually be looked at as a positive by the NFL. It means that they are doing a better diagnosing the injury. That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.

  8. That’s good news. Prior to the safety measures that have been taken in recent years, the NFL probably had a couple thousand concussions per year that went unchecked. I’m signing my kids up for football next year!

  9. The reason it’s so high now is that they can no longer hide the fact that it’s been going on for years & they knew it & did nothing about it except keep it hidden until they no longer could…..

  10. Concussions are not an indicator of damage related to CTE.

    So, diagnosing concussions is not the solution.

    The medical study released last week pretty much changes everything re: what the NFL is currently doing. Not sure why it isn’t getting referenced more…

  11. The game is tackle football.
    These kids coming out of college hit with their shoulders and launch into hits..
    Change the rule to you must wrap up or it’s a personal foul and the concussions will drop by 75 percent.

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