NFL concussions JUMPED 18% from last season with 149 suffered in 271 games… after Tua Tagovailoa’s multiple injuries led to a season-long discussion about head trauma
Data released by the NFL revealed the rate of concussions in the league jumped 18 percent this season from the 2021 campaign.
The league says players suffered 149 concussions over the course of 271 games this past season. That’s a rate of roughly one concussion every other game.
That number eclipses the 126 concussions from 2021 and is higher than the league average over three years between 2018 and 2020.
It does not include the number of concussions suffered between the start of training camp and the start of the regular season. In that period, players suffered 52 concussions – leading to a combined 213 concussions.
A rise of this nature was attributed to a number of factors, especially a change in protocol in the wake of the Tua Tagovailoa controversy earlier in the season, said NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills.
‘We continue to become more cautious and conservative in our evaluation and diagnosis of concussions,’ Sills said. ‘That’s not just an opinion. That’s backed up by the data.’
NFL reports say the rate of concussions in the 2022 NFL Regular Season jumped 18 percent
As evidence of that ‘cautious and conservative’ nature, Sills said medical staffs in the league conducted an average of 1.6 evaluations per game.
Additionally, Sills says there were nearly twice as many medical timeouts in this season by independent spotters and officials on the field.
In the preseason, the introduction of so-called ‘Guardian Caps’ that certain players were required to wear over their helmets led to a 52 percent reduction in concussions in the same time period from 2021.
Overall, the NFL says injuries across the preseason and regular season were down over five-and-a-half percent.
The season long discussion over head trauma was prompted by injuries to Tua Tagovailoa
This season saw increased focus and scrutiny over head trauma after Tua Tagovailoa’s multiple concussions.
Tua was evaluated for a head injury during a Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills, but he returned to finish the game. That decision was later investigated for a potential violation of the league’s concussion protocol.
Just four days later, in the Dolphins Week 4 game in Cincinnati on Thursday Night Football, Tagovailoa was flung to the ground and demonstrated what neurological experts call a fencing response.
He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center that evening and was discharged from the hospital later that night.
The incident forced the NFL and the NFL Players Association to revise their concussion policy.
Tagovailoa stayed in the league’s protocol until he was fully activated in Week 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, after setting career highs in passing attempts, passing yards, passer rating, and touchdowns, Tagovailoa was concussed once again on a Christmas Day game in Week 16 against the Green Bay Packers.
He was placed in concussion protocol for the second time this season and missed the team’s final three games – including a 34-31 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card round.
San Francisco was forced to use an injured quarterback when Josh Johnson was concussed
Concussions continued to rear their ugly heads in the playoffs as well – especially in the NFC Championship game.
An already injured San Francisco 49ers squad was forced to turn to fourth-string option Josh Johnson after Brock Purdy injured his elbow.
Johnson was later taken out of the game in the third quarter after suffering a concussion.
That forced the Niners to send Purdy back on the field, despite being injured with a torn UCL, because the team had no other options at that position.
In the AFC Championship game, Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed suffered a concussion and he is questionable to play in the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs might be without concussed corner L’Jarius Sneed
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