Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

More bad news on the injury front. Dallas' top cornerback Orlando Scandrick has reportedly torn his ACL in Tuesday's practice and will miss the 2015 season. Scandrick was one of the bright spots on a middling Dallas defense.

This follows Sunday's major injuries to Jordy Nelson (ACL) and Maurkice Pouncey (broken ankle), two other stars of the game. I checked our injury database for players who were designated as starters who were on injured reserve in Week 1. This won't include every full-season injury, since for example Peyton Manning was not on IR in Week 1 in 2011 as the Colts hoped he could return. The same can be said for NaVorro Bowman in 2014. But this gives us a pretty good idea of serious pre-Week 1 injuries to starters.

For reference, the lockout and new CBA that has limited offseason programs started in 2011.

We're looking to set a new benchmark with the 2015 season. The list above was quickly thrown together, but we've added some more players expected to be tagged as starters, who will each account for 16 adjusted games lost in our injury metric.

  • DL Frank Alexander, Panthers (probable starter)
  • WR Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers
  • OT Ryan Clady, Broncos
  • SAF Louis Delmas, Dolphins
  • SAF Matt Elam, Ravens (probable starter)
  • DE Dante Fowler Jr., Jaguars
  • CB E.J. Gaines, Rams (probable starter)
  • OT Phil Loadholt, Vikings
  • WR Jordy Nelson, Packers
  • TE Niles Paul, Redskins
  • DT Corey Peters, Cardinals
  • CB Orlando Scandrick, Cowboys

With two more weeks of the preseason left, this list is sadly expected to grow. The Steelers also lost kicker Shaun Suisham for the year, but we do not include kickers/punters as starters.

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19 comments, Last at 27 Aug 2015, 4:34pm

1 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

When will there be some statistical significance to the 2011- apparent increase (of course the the change from high single digits to low double digits makes it look bigger I think)? Also, what happened in 2000? I wonder if the NFLPA is able to consider that more off-season work might reduce injuries without falling over the idea that it is giving away player freedom or something?

Seeing professional athletes get out of condition in small time periods between seasons in other sports makes it inevitable in the NFL when the off season is a long one. I'm sure some R&R time is essential, but remembering tales of Jerry Rice and his training hill etc makes me wonder if some of the less dedicated (or otherwise unable) players wouldn't benefit from something extra.

If I was in the NFLPA management I'd be looking at this and working out what level of optional conditioning and non-contact training the teams might provide, especially if they could get a stipend or similar for all those who attends : yes, many already wealthy star players might choose to not attend, but more chances for the likes of practice squad, UDFA young players, and those on minimum salaries to earn some extra and interact with coaches would likely be a good thing all round. I suspect that the teams and coaches would still want some length of offseason, but an extra few weeks of below training camp intensity, but enough to warm up and prepare players for that intensity would likely improve the product on the pitch and possibly reduce some of these injuries.

Who knows, some of the stars who don't realise it might also learn that raw talent tends to be even better with a bit more work as well. I guess the problem is the distrust between the NFLPA and the NFLPA/owners that things won't become de-facto mandatory is the big problem, but if training camp injuries continue to be on the high side maybe something could change next CBA.

6 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

Using a confidence interval on the difference of the means approach, I get that the average number of pre-season season-ending injuries from 2011 on is between 1.3 and 5.2 injuries greater than pre-2011, with 95% confidence.

In other words, the difference is measurable and significant. Players are more likely to suffer season-ending injuries in the pre-season since 2011.

The numbers get even stronger if you add in this year and just use the 12 projected names above.

2 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

Much to my surprise, the p-value isn't that far from significant now (=0.10 for 2000-2014).

But, as a certain FO writer likes to say: "splits happen". From the data alone I see no reason to think there's a real relationship here. (r^2, for those curious, was only 0.19)

3 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

Cabnt recall for sure, but Scandrick may have made honorable mention on official Raiderjoe 2014 all-NFL tesam. would have to look at it again. Do know he was considered.

not exxcited for NFL season yet. Baseball been very, very good to me this year. Fnatsy teams are kicking rump like 1970s Raiders. Whether they end up like 1976 Raiders ior 1973 or 1974 or 1970 Raiders, deopends on what happens in fantasy playoffs.

also, concussions, numerous injuries, douchebag players (Sheldon richdardson, Adrian Peterson, ray rice, jasopn pierrre-paul and some others), Thursday night games and all assorted over-the-topness by league all these things make me want to say, "Go away NFL" ahlf the time. but other half of time I go here or Twiiter or look at a preview mag and stuff, ..

But come WEeek 1 I mgith be back and heavily into NFL stuff again. right now just a little rough

4 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

One of the big problems we'll see with all these injuries is the continued "Wah, wah, all these guys are getting hurt in meaningless games" crap coming out of the talking heads. The fallacy there is that several of these guys got hurt in practice and Nelson's injury was non-contact (probably others were non-contact too). Whether they play 4 preseason games or 0, guys are going to get injured, it's part of the game.

5 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

4 Pre-season games will be winnowed to 2 by the time of the next CBA negotiation... And the season will go to 17 games with a second bye.... The owners will want their revenue-- the players won't support 18, although eventually that's where we're headed...

8 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

There's also Kevin White, who hasn't been ruled out for the season but is going to miss significant time. He just had surgery this week. (And I don't know how you define rookies as starters/not starters, but it seems clear that the Bears used a #7 overall pick on him with the expectation that he would be at least a #2 receiver right away).

10 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

I wonder to what extent PEDs are involved in the recent trend of more non-contact injuries. PEDs improve muscle strength and mass but can't improve ligaments or tendons. So you have a stronger, heavier player who is accelerating, stopping, and changing direction with enhanced muscles but mortal ligaments and tendons. It's not surprising that such would lead to a lot of non-contact injuries.

18 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

The thought that overloading muscle on a frame (through unbalanced training or PEDs) has been around as long as I can remember (like many in UK I was introduce to the NFL in the early-mid 80s), it has also been a worry in Rugby as well, some of it simply from the high protein diets and having weight training as particularly Rugby Union changed from an amateur to a professional sport over the last 30 years. It makes sense, and I've talked with physiotherapists who believed that it was far from impossible to overload your frame with muscle, but I've not seen any actual research into it.

From my own anecdata I put on some weight (about 10kg, sadly mostly not muscle) over about a year and began to get niggling (and worse) problems in the badminton I play, lower legs in particular, as it definitely led to greater stresses. Some players seem to turn up to camp a similar amount above their playing weight with the idea that they can work it off, and that can't help the situation.

17 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

Maybe the balance tag might be acceptable compromise is longer training camps and more off-season conditioning but reduce the number of preseason games?

It would be interesting to know how much coaches learn from preseason games compared to training camps etc...

It is possible that having more training camp & off-season conditioning opportunities might allow some players to ease into it a bit more, which might reduce some injuries (there often seems to be a rash of leg/groin injuries as players start camp with a bang).

19 Re: Scandrick Tears ACL; Big Injuries Piling Up

Have we seen an increase in total ACL injuries, or is it just projected starters ACL injuries? We should expect to see an increase, given the increase in the pre-cutdown roster from 80 to 90. That would help us identify if it's just a veteran issue or an issue for all players, including those who did not play in the NFL the previous season.