Football is an equally exciting and dangerous sport, hence such dedicated safety precautions on the field.
While football players at every position are prone to injury, there has been extensive research done on the injuries that occur, specifically concussions. Most positions are prone to concussions, but some stand out more than others.
The top three positions that lead to the most concessions are cornerbacks, wide receivers, and linebackers. The concussions are primarily due to impact during play, helmet-on-body hits, and helmet-to-helmet hits.
The most at-risk positions for concussions
The cornerback position experiences the most concussions compared to other NFL players. The NFL conducted a study that reviewed 459 different concussions caused during games in 2015 and 2016. In those games, 393 out of the 459 players sustained direct contact play.
Cornerbacks are out in the open field, putting them in a vulnerable position, specifically the defensive back, who are the ones that tend to tackle with their heads – at full speed. They are fast and robust, giving them the ability to cover receivers, blitz, and defend offensive running plays such as sweeps.
The cornerback's concussions are caused by players making hits, tackles, and getting blocked. The players that run into each other are the two positions that experience the most concussions ramming into one another at high speed.
The second position to receive the most concussions is wide receiver. Their principal role is to catch passes from the quarterback; they try to avoid, outmaneuver, or outrun defenders during passes. Those defenders tend to be bigger, faster, and stronger; to be on the receiving end is not an envious position.
Wide receivers take massive hits across the middle of the field, moving at high velocity with those who are trying to tackle them. The threat of penalty protects wide receivers; however, it doesn't always prevent hits.
The third position that is prone to concussions is linebackers. They tend to experience a greater overall frequency of impacts and have the most significant proportion of blows to the helmet's front.
Linebackers often charge towards the ball carrier at a high velocity. The impact caused by being fast and significant is a violent collision that can leave both players injured.
There has been new research and studies that show the long-term effects of concussions on NFL football players. The research has brought more awareness of the detrimental consequences. Overall, the players are more careful both on and off the field to protect themselves. If a player suffers a concussion, they are sidelined for nineteen days, which is triple the number of days compared to a decade ago.
Concussions are severe yet underrated injuries that only recently started getting awareness.Published 19 Dec 2020, 13:46 IST