NFL says 2022 regular season saw fewer injuries but more concussions, QB head injuries than 2021
The number of injuries NFL players suffered decreased in 2022 but there were more concussions than in the 2021 regular season, according to injury data released by the NFL on Friday.
Overall, injuries were down 5.6%, but concussions jumped by 18% (from 126 to 149) during the regular season. The league's concussion protocol became scrutinized early in the season after Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa suffered a head injury in September against the Cincinnati Bengals. There were 33 instances of a spotter stopping play to remove a player for a potential concussion, the league said.
NFL executive vice president, communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller said about 60 percent of the increase in concussions this season could be attributed to head injuries suffered by quarterbacks and players on special-teams plays. There was no increase in the number of players who suffered multiple concussions, and the median time out due to a concussion remained at nine days.
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The number of concussions endured by quarterbacks was higher than typical, Miller said. Miller added that helmet manufacturers are working on a quarterback-specific helmet, and, "I think we are getting very close."
Other quarterbacks who battled concussions were the Denver Broncos' Russell Wilson, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Kenny Pickett, Dolphins backup Teddy Bridgewater and Tyler Huntley of the Baltimore Ravens.
For the second straight offseason, the NFL will ask the competition committee to look at ways to make punt plays safer. One in five concussions takes place during punts, as well as 20% of ACL tears.
The league will also look at the transition from the preseason to regular season, as injuries from Weeks 1-5 increased.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL news on injuries: Concussions up 18%; QB head injuries increase