Injuries in the NFL

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The Cost of Soft Tissue Injuries

Through the first half of the 2014 NFL season, the rash of injuries affecting players (especially high profile players) was at an extremely high level. As week 8 came to a close, we at MuscleSound examined injury reports for incidence of soft tissue injuries and their impact on both games missed and “lost” salaries (i.e. salaries paid to injured players). Through our analysis it was discovered that a staggering 405 total games were missed by players suffering from soft tissue injuries.1 Furthermore, these 405 games have cost NFL teams over $35 million in salaries paid to players unable to participate in games through the first half of the 2014 season. Through deeper analysis we determined that hamstring strains were the most frequent contributor causing 167 missed games. Groin strains were a distant second, resulting in 67 games missed.

The illustration below shows this data divided by division.

nfl-injury-map

What if NFL teams could keep even a portion of these salaried players on the field?

There are several published scientific studies showing that damaged or injured muscles cannot store the same amount of glycogen as healthy muscles. If, when using the MuscleSound device, a muscle scores low in glycogen and has an uncharacteristically poor or delayed response to nutrition, then muscle damage is likely. In this case training load adjustments should be considered, especially in light of the finding that a muscle low in glycogen will increase amino acid oxidation during intense exercise.

By providing trainers with an early warning signal to reduce the incidence of soft tissue injuries, MuscleSound technology has the potential to help keep players on the field and performing at their highest levels.


[1] Injuries categorized as soft tissue injuries included biceps, groin, hamstring, quad, thigh, calf, triceps and pectoral strains. We did not include data related to injuries to tendons, nerves, and ligaments.