The Miami Dolphins may be young but they are not immune to injury and if history is a lesson, we could see more injuries in 2020.
Miami Dolphins fans may see more soft tissue injuries in 2020 due to the negated off-season, there has been a precedent.
Early today, the Miami Dolphins watched Kyle Van Noy suffer an upper torso injury, and last week we watched Jerome Baker take a hit and we also saw Vince Biegel go down for the season. Of course, what we need to know is whether or not this is a fluke. That is hard to say but if we dip back into the 2011 season, we can at least get an idea.
Over on our sister site, RamblinFan.com, they looked a little bit at history when in 2011 the NFL rushed itself back from the owner’s lockout to get players ready for the season and for games to start on time. That led to an increase in soft tissue injuries, should we expect more of the same?
This time around, the NFL was at least smart enough to nix the pre-season schedule entirely and on top of that, they forced all NFL squads to undergo two weeks of straight conditioning and acclimation work prior to putting on pads.
So far, it’s hard to tell if it is working. The Cowboys lost Gerald McCoy for the season, Miami lost Beigel, and today Browns rookie Grant Delpit was carted off the field.
My question is whether or not injuries are more prevalent now then they were prior to the social media boom when everything was put in front of us immediately.
Most ACL injuries and other major soft-tissue injuries tend to come during camps more than in actual games. Part of that reason is that players are not on the field the entire time during a game and rotation schedules also bring players off the field. In practices, especially during training camps, players are fighting for roster spots and starting jobs.
In 2017, 23 players suffered ACL injuries before the season started. In 2013, that number was 31. In an interesting study of offensive lineman that was researched from 1980 to 2015, there were clearly an increase in the number of ACL injuries. Along with the injuries, more players returned to the sport following the injury as the years went by.
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This year is going to be an interesting one. As we mentioned we have already seen some injuries with the Dolphins but we are not certain of how long some of them will be gone. With no pre-season games on the schedule, the players will miss valuable re-acclimation to the contact and that too could increase injuries as players’ bodies missed the rigors of off-season work which often helps.
It is interesting to note that the NFLPA and the NFL both may use this year’s injuries as a reason to promote their agendas. The NFLPA wants a reduction in pre-season games and should there be less serious injuries, they could naturally point to that as a reason. Conversely, if a rash of injuries continues to happen, the NFL can point out that it makes no difference.
The simple truth is we don’t have the information to compare what happened in the early 80s and 90s compared to what is happening now. Teams didn’t have the same injury information that is as relevant as it is now. Still, it seems that there are more injuries today then there were prior to the 2000s. At the same time, players have become far stronger and faster as well.