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.
Who is hurt the most?
Special teams players are injured most often, at the rate of once per 50 plays. Compare that with quarterbacks, whose injuries are more high-profile but less common: They are hurt just once every 236 plays.
Average number of plays per injury
All other positions
SOURCES: FootballOutsiders.com. GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews, Bonnie Berkowitz and Alberto Cuadra.
Injuries per 1,000 plays
SOURCES: FootballOutsiders.com, ProFootballFocus.com.