Georgiy Sekretaryuk
September 21, 2020
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How NFL Season Start Proves Risk of Injury After Hiatus

Be prepared before you get back out there (no matter what you do)

NFL Week 2 of the 2020 season was a headline-maker and not because of the quality of game play. A potential record number (for Week 2 of any season) of players went down with an injury by the time Sunday’s games were in the books, including last year’s NFC Champion quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Injuries Sustained Early in the Season (after COVID-19 hiatus)

Here’s a list of the types of injuries that occurred for key and marquee players alike:

  • Torn ACL
  • Ankle spain
  • Shoulder injury
  • Neck injury
  • Groin strain
  • Hamstring strain

The above is a fairly standard list of injuries for football players, but what is not so typical is the number of players injured so early in the season. 

(Adam Schefter, ESPN Senior NFL Insider)

What happened? 

It’s not hard to speculate, if not draw a solid conclusion.

Due to COVID-19 the NFL teams did not conduct their normal off-season and preseason regime. There were no Organized Team Activities (OTAs), no minicamps, and no preseason exhibition games to work out the cobwebs that normally grow after the prior season’s Super Bowl has concluded. This was all compounded by the fact that players were not able to do the normal unorganized physical activities that they may do during the off-season, such as working out with their own personal trainers and therapists. 

There had been so much concern about how many players would test positive for COVID-19 leading up to the season it seems that concern for injury prevention was put on the sideline. Sure, there was absolutely a greater emphasis on their respective personal training programs than ever before, but these programs did little to mimic what they would experience against real activity on the field. 

Of course, keeping a lid on COVID-19 was/is the top priority, but what we’re seeing as a result is how impactful a hiatus can be on the body – even for the world’s elite athletes. These individuals are in superior shape and have access to the best home-fitness equipment, nutrition, and virtual support yet their bodies were still not ready for what was to come. 

The NBA on the other hand was ready. Not only were they not just coming off of a full off-season, it can be argued that they were better prepared by working more closely with trainers and physiotherapists in preparation for their return. Of course, the NBA is not nearly as high-impact as the NFL, but all the more reason for the NFL to ramp up preparation even more. Perhaps a bubble (like with what the NBA did) for pre-season OTAs and exhibitions would have made a difference.

Why are we even talking about this?

While we are a physiotherapy clinic that specializes in sports injury rehabilitation (among other things) we’re certainly no ESPN or CBS Sports, so why the discussion on the NFL season thus far? It’s pretty simple. 

What’s happening in the NFL is indicative of what can happen when your body takes a hiatus, and is analogous to what sectors of general public are experiencing at this very moment. It doesn’t matter if you’re returning to play tennis or the gym after respective facilities have reopened after COVID-19 closures, or if you’re simply headed back to the office where a return to standing or sitting all day can take a heavy toll on the body. You absolutely need to prepare your body for this return, be it sports (view more here) or vocation. The path towards optimal preparation begins with physiotherapy

A physiotherapist will perform a comprehensive assessment and prepare you for a return to both work and play, even if they are one in the same. If you live in the Greater Vancouver area schedule an appointment at our Burnaby clinic today.