Injuries on NFL
Football and injuries go hand in hand. It’s the nature of a beast that is the most physical, and most violent, of the four major sports. It might be the sport with the fewest amount of games played during any given season, but it’s also the most grueling, never mind the most popular among American viewers.
How do injuries affect the odds?
In this legal gambling age, NFL odds are heavily influenced by injury designations, especially for key players. Bettors must be aware of player statuses before placing their NFL picks, though that information is readily available, perhaps more than ever.
You can trace football injuries far back, well before the NFL was ever even conceived. You’ll recall that the sport began with minimal protection and no helmets, resulting in head trauma that oftentimes went undiagnosed. And despite significant progress in helmet advancements since the first pigskin was created, concussions remain one of the three most common injuries across the football landscape.
Recent Injury Records
The 2020 NFL season saw a total of 172 concussions sustained through training camp, regular-season games, and practices. That number increased to 187 in 2021, but you’ll recall that the COVID-19 pandemic canceled all preseason games in 2020, so even though the data shows a higher rate, the numbers are skewed because of less opportunity.
The other two most common injuries that take place in the NFL are hamstring and knee injuries. They’re also the most burdensome and costly, as 75% of players who sustain hamstring injuries are forced to miss some degree of time to heal. That number increases to 80% for those who deal with knee injuries, with torn ACLs and MCLs becoming more and more common.
The plus side to those tears popping up on a more frequent basis is that medical professionals are more equipped and prepared to treat them, often resulting in a player’s return to the field in less than 12 months, a thought unheard of not that long ago. The post-op rehabilitation has also been much more streamlined in recent years and coupled with committed athletes putting in the necessary, unheralded work, results in a higher comeback rate.