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Injuries and today's NFL

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Vrill, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

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    I was talking to a friend at work yesterday and he brought up an interesting question to me. He asked me if I remember a time in the NFL from the 1990s and back that injuries, or more specifically, ACL injuries were so prevalent around the league? Honestly, I don't remember injuries in GENERAL being so bad back then, do any of you? Is it because of the practice rules of today? Or are players not doing the basics enough anymore? Do certain players get lazy once they get paid making them more susceptible to injury?
     
  2. Half Empty

    Half Empty Cheesehead

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    I'd first like to see and apples-and-apples comparison. You allude to one, which is focusing on ACLs. Then, we'd need to check on the adjusted numbers - size of squads, players per team, player size, that sort of thing. Of course, we've got the transition to a predominantly passing league to consider. Then, if it appears there are proportionately more ACLs occurring now, we've got something to discuss.
     
  3. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Cheesehead

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    Were players just tougher back then and played through injuries? Or just not well informed on long term effects? Or just poorly diagnosed or even not at all? No evidence to back it up, but I'm guessing a combination of all of the above.

    I like the thread. Food for thought.
     
  4. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    If there are more ACL injuries, I'd bet it's due to players being bigger, faster, and stronger than ever with the ACL remaining the same size. It's got more work to do now.
     
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  5. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    The NFL Network wasn't around back in the 1990s, barely anybody played fantasy football, ESPN didn't devote as much effort to the NFL, and we all paid less attention to injuries because we were at work....working. There might be a slight uptick in injuries as players get faster and stronger than their frames can support, but it's not that much different than before.

    Here is a good history lesson about the season we lost Brooks to an ACL right after he had a career season, Freeman broke his arm the next week, and the Packers were Super Bowl favorites:
    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/pack...uation-for-packers-b99561276z1-322879011.html
    The more things change, the more they remain the same.
     
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  6. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I wasn´t able to find any information about the number of injuries before 2009 so it´s impossible to make an educated guess about it.
     
  7. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    I doubt many guys in the history of the NFL in a high speed position were able to "tape it up" and play through an injury like Jordy's.....maybe back in leather helmet days?

    I think we had this discussion on hamstrings too. Like them and head injuries, as many have pointed out, players are getting bigger, faster, stronger, but still relying on basically the same ligaments, tendons, skulls, etc. I too don't have statistics, but logic and gut feeling tell me that even with better off season conditioning programs, weight rooms, diet, etc. injuries will keep increasing in direct proportion to an increase in speed, volume and mass of objects colliding.....I knew I wasn't sleeping during physics!! :barefoot:
     
  8. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    One thing for sure: more people died playing football in the early days than today. Medicine has improved, so have the rules.
     
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  9. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    So the basic modern athlete is better conditioned, stronger, faster than say a roman centurian or hun or mammoth hunter? In that he pushes his body harder than people in an actual life and death lifestyle? Not snarky just curious.
     
  10. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    The OP poses an interesting question about injuries over the years in general and ACL injuries in particular. I do think players back in the 50’s and 60’s for example, were tougher but the vast majority didn’t view their NFL careers as an avenue for a lifetime (or several lifetimes) of financial independence as many do today. IOW, if a player suffered a torn ACL in 1955 he was much more likely to retire and concentrate on his other job (almost all players had “real” jobs through at least the 1960s). So money, in addition to the increase in size and speed of players, as well as advances in medicine and equipment have affected this issue.

    Regarding how tough old-timers were, here’s a quote by Willie Wood about my favorite Lombardi Packer:
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...lic-relations-director-ray-nitschke-inductees
    I've also heard many stories by old-timers about players continuing to play through concussions. Obviously that wouldn't happen today.

    Regarding ACL injuries, I wondered how long they have been recognized and when surgery was first performed to correct them. Here’s an excerpt from a review of an article titled, “A Brief History of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction”. I was more than a little surprised at the length of the history of ACL surgeries:
    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aos/2014/706042/
     
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  11. TJV

    TJV Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I would say certainly modern athletes are bigger, better conditioned, stronger, and faster. I would even say modern athletes push their bodies harder with regard to general fitness. IMO the difference between modern athletes and those from ancient history you mention is motivation. They didn't have to pretend their survival depended upon their actions in battle or hunting, it did.
     
  12. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    I would answer that "Yes".....from a "scientific/technical standpoint". There is a ton of money and science now in the field of Sports conditioning/training. Athletes today have access to all the modern equipment, science and trainers to build their bodies. All you have to do is look at the physic of a player today VS. one even from the 70s (and earlier) to see it. BUT, kind of like NASCAR, there is a lot you can do to make a car bigger, faster, stronger, more efficient, etc to compete, but those walls when they hit them are just as hard today as 30 years ago. Add more force, mass and speed and chances are, more damage as a result.
     
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  13. buggybill2003

    buggybill2003 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think simply put, they are more finely tuned these days. We have it in Soccer. Back in the 70`s players were tough as nails were now, they are so finely tuned, the slightest knock and they are injured for weeks on end.
     
  14. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    I don't think they had as good of juice back in the day either, as they do now.
     
  15. Pokerbrat2000

    Pokerbrat2000 Opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

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    I look at a player like Melvin Gordon. When he came into Wisconsin as a Freshman, he was fast but not really that muscular. 3 1/2 years later look at him.....he looks like he was chiseled out of rock. He built all that mass and strength in a very short time. I doubt his hamstrings, ACL's, etc are equally as strong to handle the load of his new body and all of that muscle mass is still on the same frame.

    Melvin as a Senior in H.S.

    [​IMG]

    Melvin at the Combine (3 1/2 years later):

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mongoosev

    mongoosev Cheesehead

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    athletes today have been so pampered with technology and "supplements" that it would make the athletes, prior to the 90s, look like barbarians! Basically, I don't think athletes train as much today with raw gear as they did in the past. With so many regulations and rules now in the NFL you would think there would be less injuries! or perhaps players from the past played through injuries and didn't tell their coach! now if someone bangs a finger the trainers/coaching staff want to put them on the disabled list!
     
  17. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

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    Hopefully we can avoid the injury bug going forward..
     
  18. PikeBadger

    PikeBadger Cheesehead

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    Many were afraid to let their injuries be known for fear of being "Wally Pipped".
     
  19. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    With today's techniques, players can return to essentially 100% function after ACL surgery. That wasn't the case in the majority of the cases prior to the 80's. However, virtually 100% of ACL injuries today still result in the later development of significant arthritis in the affected knee. Johnny Unitas had a knee of a 70 year old when he played for the Chargers. That will likely change in the future as better methods of repair, or better methods of prevention (even genetic "strengthening"of ligaments), develop imo.
     
  20. Packerlover

    Packerlover Cheesehead

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    Since training camps have opened there have been 25 ACL injuries, ending those players seasons. Scandrick from Dallas is the latest.
     
  21. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    Someday, someone will figure out how to greatly reduce the time to return from an ACL injury. That person will be super rich.
     
  22. Half Empty

    Half Empty Cheesehead

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    Well, they've already got it down to a year, when it used to be forever. :)
     
  23. 1940sfootball

    1940sfootball Cheesehead

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    You do realize shoulder pads were 3 inches bigger - thicker in the 90s.it deflected more upper body blows and concussions. The new helmet designs don't do crap
     
  24. 1940sfootball

    1940sfootball Cheesehead

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    They already did that
     
  25. 1940sfootball

    1940sfootball Cheesehead

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    All the talk of players being softer or not in shape because of less practice is purely stupid. It's due to over use because the workout year round. You look all buff but the fact is they work out too much and it tires the body and makes you vulnerable to injury. And don't fool yourself, most of these guys are juiced on one thing or another
     

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