NFL injuries: where does it hurt?
While any football player can injure just about any body part, the most common injuries are related to the positions they play. This analysis covers any malady, regardless of severity, that lands a player on the official NFL injury report. Read related article.
A unique position
Quarterbacks touch the ball on nearly every play and are a main target of the defense, so the rules offer them special protection. Since hits to the head were banned in the mid-1990s, the NFL has periodically strengthened passer-protection rules. Because quarterbacks are often more stationary than other players, injuries tend to occur in the upper body.Overall, 77% of injuries to quarterbacks happen above the waist, compared with 33% for players in all other positions. Knee and lower leg injuries account for 53% of all NFL injuries across all positions.
SOURCE: FootballOutsiders.com. GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews, Bonnie Berkowitz and Alberto Cuadra.
Injuries to special teams players have not gone unnoticed. Last season, in an attempt to reduce the velocity of hits, kickoffs were moved to the 35-yard line (from the 30) and coverage players were limited to a 5-yard running start.
SOURCES: FootballOutsiders.com, ProFootballFocus.com.