It may come as a surprise given all the attention that illegal hits and concussions have gotten this year, but through the first eight weeks of the 2010 NFL season the rate of injuries was actually down from last year.The average number of players per team that missed two weeks or more due to injury in 2010 (through eight weeks) was 13, down from 15 in 2009.
And the number of players that were out six weeks or more dropped even more, from 5.9 in 2009 to 3.8.
The data was complied and analysed by John Powell, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Michigan State University, who advises the NFL.
The number of players on injured reserve is higher than a year ago, but that doesn’t necessarily correlate to the frequency or severity of injuries.
Thom Mayer, medical director for the NFLPA, cautions that its premature to make any assumptions based on this information:
‘I’m always reluctant to interpret the data before the season is completely done,’ Mayer said. ‘I would consider the numbers through eight weeks to be neutral, neither up nor down in a significant way.’
Still, if the numbers hold up, this information could provide an unexpected piece of ammunition for the NFL in its push for an 18-game season.
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