Effect of COVID-19 on Injury Rates and Timing in the National Football League.
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Background: The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) preseason and a decreased preseason roster size. The effect of this disruption on athlete injury rates is unknown.
Purpose/Hypothesis: The purpose was to quantify the rates of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Achilles tendon, and hamstring tendon injuries in NFL players before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesized that injury rates in the 2020 season would be higher than those seen prepandemic.
Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Level of evidence, 4.
Methods: An online search using publicly available data was carried out to identify all NFL players who sustained an ACL, Achilles tendon, or hamstring tendon injury between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2021. Data collected included player characteristics as well as career and season of injury workloads.
Results: The number of Achilles tendon (27 vs 20;
Conclusion: In the 2020 NFL season, the number of Achilles tendon and hamstring tendon injuries rose while the number of ACL injuries remained constant compared with the 2017 to 2019 seasons. Injuries that occurred during the first 4 games of the 2020 NFL season were consistent, with higher rates of injuries seen in the preseason in previous years.
Omari AM, Paul RW, Fliegel B, Osman A, Bishop ME, Erickson BJ, Alberta FG. Effect of COVID-19 on injury rates and timing in the National Football League. Orthop J Sports Med. 2022 Jun 2;10(6):23259671221098749. doi: 10.1177/23259671221098749. PMID: 35677022.