Last year, several organizations tracked every brain injury recorded in the NFL during the season to help document the high rates of TBI in the professional sport and raise awareness. This year if you waited to start your list until the regular season, it will be incomplete. The season hasn’t begun and already 35 players have suffered concussions.
Of course, every year there are concussions that occur during training camp and pre-season games. The Twitter feed @NFLConcussions has been tracking league brain injuries for years, and their data shows that the number of preseason injuries is growing.
But are there more concussions happening? Not necessarilly. Experts have maintained that there are likely many more concussions incurred every year in the NFL than what goes reported. Lack of brain injury education, high competitive drive, perilous career stability, and simple ego mean that many players likely hide brain injuries rather than risk being pulled from competition and potentially cut from the team.
While all sports present the risk for brain injury, these rates show that football is truly the most high risk sport. There have already been more concussions recorded in three weeks of NFL preseason practices and games than in last year’s entire NBA and MLB seasons combined.
If the rate of brain injures continues at this pace, it could mean more than 200 diagnosed concussions by the end of the season.