NFL Reveals Significant Increase In Documented Concussions From 2021 To 2022

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Seth Roy Contributor
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The NFL’s concussion problem is only getting worse. 

Recent data published by the NFL revealed a dramatic increase in regular season concussions from 2021 to 2022. In 2021, there were 126 documented concussions throughout the 271-game season and 149 during the 2022 regular season. That is an 18% increase in just one year, according to ESPN

“We continue to become more cautious and conservative in our evaluation and diagnosis of concussions,” NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills told ESPN. “That’s not just an opinion. That’s backed up by the data.”

ESPN reported that there was an average of 1.6 medical timeouts performed per game this season by independent spotters and on-field officials, which is twice as many compared to 2021. 

Whatever the case may be, an 18% increase in head injuries in one season is a bad look for the NFL. (RELATED: Megyn Kelly Slams Tom Brady For Causing ‘Heartache’ To His Kids, Wife Over Extra Year Of Football)

During the preseason, the NFL mandated linebackers, linemen, and tight-ends to wear Guardian Caps throughout the course of training camp and for the first two pre-season games. Data revealed that there was a 50% decrease in concussions amongst the players required to wear them during this time span. There were only 11 head injuries for those who wore them from training camp to the second pre-season game compared to the three-year average of 23, according to ESPN

Why the NFL reverted back to helmets without the Guardian Cap is beyond me, but I believe they should institute them again and make it permanent. And not just for a specific group of players — for everyone. 

The news of this increase is troubling because Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is real. CTE is brain damage caused by repetitive head trauma. It’s commonly found in professional football players. Back in 2017, Boston University did a study on 111 brains of deceased former NFL players in which 110 of them were found to have the disease.

It was revealed that former NFL defenseman Phillip Adams had the degenerate disease after he was accused of shooting and killing six people in South Carolina, before killing himself back in the spring of 2021, the Associated Press reported.

The most eerie instance of an obvious concussion this season occurred with Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in week four of the regular season. Tagovailoa was sacked to the ground by a Cincinnati Bengals defender and laid on the ground afterwards. His fingers were contorted in unnatural ways and he ultimately needed to be stretchered off the field.

Hopefully the NFL can figure out a way to make the game safer moving forward. If concussion numbers continue to rise, I’m afraid football as we know it will change dramatically.