So tell me—are injuries up or down?
The story of the NFL is always rife with injuries, but this year, it seems like there are more stories, bigger stories, harder hits and more expensive losses. Without data, though, we have no idea.
We hear about an "epidemic" of ACL injuries, yet we've had no major knee injuries over the past two weekends.
We hear more and more about concussions, but it seems that concussion numbers are down this season.
Quarterbacks are falling to a variety of injuries, in spite of rule changes for the last decade that have created a safer environment for them than ever.
Is bigger, stronger, faster finally catching up to the NFL and becoming broken, beaten and injured? We simply don't know because the NFL and its media haven't made it possible. While the NBA is breaking down data in ways we've never seen before, the NFL is begrudgingly giving up all-22 tape. We can find out route and snap info at a place like Pro Football Focus, but we can't get simple injury data out of the NFL.
After following this sport professionally for nearly a decade, I don't think the NFL really can fundamentally change how it deals with injuries. The changes it makes seem to be so rife with unintended consequences that I'm tempted to just say "stay out of the way and let the medical staffs improve things." That would work better.
For now, let's look around the league at all the injuries...