Sunday, November 17, 2013

NFL Injury Bug Self-Inflicted Wound

Anyone who has paid any attention to NFL football this season has to have noticed the vast amount of injuries that have occurred to players this year.

Especially some key players.

One has to wonder why so many injuries are happening.

In comparison to other seasons, generally speaking, it seems that more players are succumbing to injury than in years past.

What could the reason be?

One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the rule changes that have been instituted in the last fe years.

Defenders have all but been handcuffed from hitting offensive players which has put them in position to become injured themselves.

With the addition of the defenseless receiver rule defenders have been asked to restrict the area in which they can hit or tackle an offensive player which actually puts them at risk.

Asking a player who is running at full speed to pull up (slow down) or change direction at the last moment just before contact with another player is asking a lot of the human body.

Making such an abrupt adjustment puts an unusual strain on the human frame which seems to be resulting injuries not seen before.

Defenders are being asked to be pinpoint tacklers and that is asking a lot.

In recent years NFL coaches and teams have also reduced the amount of hitting in practice which additionally has contributed to the spike in injuries.

Anyone who has played football will tell you that the only way your body builds up a tolerance for being hit is by being hit. Reducing hitting in practice has in essence "softened" the players making them susceptible to injury.

What the NFL rules committee has done is expose players to many more injuries by changing the game in an effort to reduce injuries.

Football players need to be able to hit each other. That is the nature of the game.

Although some of the head hunting needed to be curtailed it didn't need to be done at the expense of ruining the game.

I have to admit form tackling is a lost art in football. Players need to return to wrapping and tackling instead of trying to deliver the big blow that makes everybody go "OOOoooooo!!"

But by the same token they still need to feel free to hit an opposing player without fear of being penalized on every play.

The league and the players both need to make adjustments.

Let's hope they do in a manner that is reasonable and fair.  

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