Do injuries that occur prior to and/or are identified at the NFL combine impact performance in the league?

Do injuries that occur prior to and/or are identified at the NFL combine impact performance in the league?



An enormous study compiled and analyzed the results of 32 other high level studies that sought to answer this question. These studies collected data from athletes involved in the NFL combine from 2009 and on. They found the following significant results when comparing injured athletes to healthy athletes:


Athletes with a history of the following injuries played in significantly fewer NFL games:

  • Cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) spine injury
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Superior labrum anterior-posterior repair (shoulder)
  • ACL reconstruction
  • Full-thickness chondral lesions of the knee
  • Lisfranc (foot) injury

Athletes with a history of the following injuries had decreased career lengths:

  • Cervical or lumbar spine injury
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Navicular (foot bone) injury

Defensive players and linemen with the following injuries had decreased participation in the NFL:

  • Prior meniscectomy
  • ACL reconstruction
  • Shoulder instability

What does this mean?

  • NFL teams should be cautious when selecting players with a history of these injuries because they have been shown to have an overall significantly negative effect on the NFL career’s of these athletes. The highest risk factor for any injury is a previous injury. Now we are not saying that any player with one of these injuries will automatically have a worse NFL career, but history has shown they are real risk factors.

Stay tuned because we’re going to breakdown the top prospect athletes that we are labeling as “Buyer Beware” when it comes to the NFL draft.


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Featured Image By: Sports Illustrated

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