Just two weeks into the current season, about 15 percent of all NFL football players have already officially suffered an injury.
According to official statistics released by the NFL, 234 players were dealing with various kinds of injuries heading into the the second week of play. This includes 12 concussions, two neck injuries, and one other unspecified injury to the head. There were also 40 knee injuries.
During the second week of play, another 16 players suffered injuries so severe that they needed to be removed from the game. (More injuries will be identified as teams prepare their Week 3 injury reports.) Bills safety Aaron Williams suffered a neck injury and was taken off the field via ambulance.
Aaron Williams taken off by ambulance after this. Looked like it could have been a neck injury. Not good. pic.twitter.com/ea3gTrAQXe
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) September 20, 2015
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo broke his collarbone and is expected to miss much of the season.
The rate of injuries this year is not out of the ordinary for the NFL. In the 2013–14 season there were more than 1,300 injuries, including 87 concussions, over the course of play. (Although the rate through Week 2 appears greater than this, it also includes injuries that have been sustained during the pre-season.)
The NFL implemented a number of changes this year that were intended to reduce the number of injuries. In March, NFL owners agreed to eliminate “all chop blocks and peel blocks by running backs outside the tackle box,” ban “players from pushing teammates at the line of scrimmage in order to block punts” and expand “defenseless-player protection to include interception returns.” None of these arcane changes have had any noticeable impact on the total number of injuries thus far. The NFL claims that previous rule changes have reduced the number of concussions sustained by NFL players. A study released last Friday of 91 deceased NFL players found 87 tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CPE), a brain disease linked to repetitive brain trauma.