Dramatic rise in concussions in the NFL
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's story is far from unique in the NFL, as the NFL recorded an 18% increase in concussion cases in 2022 compared to the previous year.
League chief medical officer Dr Allen Sills admitted on Friday that total such injuries have risen from 126 to 149. The latter number is a 14% increase from the 130 average between seasons. 2018 and 2020.
As reported by the ESPN network, the specialist wanted to justify this increase by modifying the definition associated with the term “concussion” by the Goodell circuit. After the troubles experienced in weeks 3 and 4 of the 2022 regular season by Tagovailoa, seriously shaken for two games in a few days, the NFL has modified certain parameters of its protocol concerning head injuries.
“ We continue to be more cautious and conservative in our assessment and diagnosis of concussions. It's not just an opinion. It's backed up by data,” he said, adding that league medical officials have performed an average of 1.6 exams per game on athletes who may have suffered a concussion.
In addition, information published by the NFL indicates that 52 such health problems were detected between the start of training camps and the start of the regular schedule. This is a 14% increase over 2021, if the totals for the season and the exhibition phase are combined.
The vice-president of the NFL, Jeff Miller, and Sills also presented some injury stats of all kinds. In particular, a 5.6% decrease in these – preparatory calendar and regular season included – was noted. Lower extremity pain was reduced by 14% in one year.
Tagovailoa followed the protocol a few times in 2022, including the last one late in the campaign. He suffered a shock during a game against the Green Bay Packers on December 25 and missed the rest of the season, as well as the first round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.