From mini camps to OTAs to training camps, 18 NFL players have seen their season come to an end before it even starts. If 49ers WR Michael Crabtree and Giants RB Andre Brown don’t play this year, the number will rise to 20. That’s more than double the amount of season ending injuries that occurred in the preseason during each of the last 5 seasons.
11 of the 18 injuries were the dreaded torn ACL. So, the question begs to be asked: Why are all these injuries happening?
One of the conditions in the latest CBA was less time in pads, which means less full contact practices. With less time for the body to get use to contact, the more likely injuries are going to happen. Also, more NFL players tend to focus on building strength and power, than strengthening the often ignored ligaments and tendons, which have been getting injured more during the preseason when contact is limited.
It’s a double-edged sword for players. They obviously want to be able to last for the rough sixteen game season, but the lack of contact in the offseason is having an effect on players in the preseason, as they are more vulnerable to injuries.
You probably won’t see a change, as it’s likely the players are willing to sacrifice less contact and more vulnerability to injuries in the preseason for having fresher legs through December and into January for the playoff teams.