Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

12 Oct 2007

FOX: Another Week, Another Neck Injury

Are neck injuries a looming crisis in the NFL? It seems that we can't go a week without one.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 12 Oct 2007

8 comments, Last at 16 Oct 2007, 2:00pm by zlionsfan


by George (not verified) :: Fri, 10/12/2007 - 4:09pm

What about Brian Dawkins?

by kachunk (not verified) :: Fri, 10/12/2007 - 4:14pm

Holy cow. Decent and intelligent comments on Fox. Who knew that was possible? I'm sure it won't last.

That said, I think the reason that people refer to Everett's recovery as miraculous is that very few people who get such neck injuries are in a position to receive immediate care. Most people don't carry spinal injury specialists in the trunk of their car. So compared to the general population the level of care Everett received was pretty exceptional.

by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Fri, 10/12/2007 - 4:16pm

Here you go, Brian Dawkins:

Ranks fourth on the Eagles' all-time list with 32 career interceptions.
In the 2002 season, Dawkins became the first player in NFL history to record a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and a touchdown reception in the same game, against the Houston Texans.[1]
Dawkins is also known for twice suplexing (aka the Dawkplex) wide receivers of the Washington Redskins. Once, in 2003 to Cliff Russell and again to Laveranues Coles. Both of these were regarded as legal tackles, and both were similar to the German suplex in that they were enacted belly-to-back after the receiver had caught the pass.
In the 2005 season, Dawkins became only the seventh NFL player with at least 15 sacks and 25 interceptions.
Dawkins is an avid fan of Marvel Comics' Wolverine and is sometimes referred to as Wolverine or as Weapon X.
Dawkins wears a protective eyeshield due to a laceration to his cornea as a child.
Sports Illustrated named him as one of seventeen active players that they predicted would ultimately would be voted entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sporting News also named him one of the top 100 active NFL players.

by methdeez (not verified) :: Fri, 10/12/2007 - 5:36pm

What is the point of the Fox comments like "Browns Rule! Ravens Drool!"?
Are you trying to convince people to root for the browns? Or are you trying to show your allegience, even though you are anonymous?

by Sisyphus (not verified) :: Fri, 10/12/2007 - 6:05pm

Improving the medical care is all well and good but there need to be some changes in how the game is both coached and called. Technique for tackling in particular has grown steadily sloppy over the years. Tackles are supposed to be made with shoulders and arms, not helmets and your head is supposed to be up not down. If the refs would call spearing that part of tackling technique would likely improve in a hurry. As it stands now there are players whose primary tackling form is spearing and it seems to be accepted as the norm. Everyone is looking for the "big" hit.

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/12/2007 - 11:51pm


Well at least they have more intelligent comments than any other news outlet in the country. Sorry, couldn't resist. Thats the end of the political comments.

But I can't see how they could stop the leading with the helmet because it will still happen even if they make it a penalty.

by Matt Saracen (not verified) :: Sat, 10/13/2007 - 7:50am

Everytime I watch Friday Night Lights and see Jason Street in the chair, it reminds me of what a violent game football is and how surprisingly lax the NFL is about bad injuries like neck injuries and concussions. I wonder if they are thinking of doing any testing regarding helmets and padding. Sometimes you can't help but think: would there be less injuries if the players didn't wear helmets?

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:00pm

@5: yep. exactly.

I have pondered solutions like making the top part of the helmet collapsible in some way to make it easier for the refs to call.

@6: I don't think being unable to stop every instance of it means we shouldn't penalize it more heavily or enforce the existing penalties. The goal should be to minimize instances of it.

I'm shocked to be saying this, but perhaps the NFL could take a hint from the NHL. Illegal contact to the head has been a problem for a long time in the NHL as well. This season, after just two weeks, two of the longest suspensions in NHL history have been handed down for on-ice incidents, 20 and 25 games respectively. (A full season is 82.) It's way too soon to tell how much of a deterrent that will be, or if the NHL will continue to hand out stiff penalties, but it's a welcome change from, say, the one-game suspension Kenoy Kennedy gets every time he spears someone.

The sad thing in my mind is that the NFLPA doesn't seem to be interested in preventing this kind of thing from happening. Um, aren't all these injured players union members? (Maybe part of the problem is that unlike in hockey, when the injured player is almost always the victim, in football, the injured player is frequently the one trying to make the block/tackle.)