AVOIDING THE INJURY PLAGUE: Addressing the apparent rise in ACL, Achilles, and hamstring injuries
I don’t think it’s my imagination. It seems that there has been an increase in ACL, Achilles, and hamstring injuries in the past few years. Most concerning recently, as a Dallas Cowboys fan, is the season-ending Achilles tear suffered by DE Tyrone Crawford last week. League wide, as other teams have joined the Cowboys and Dolphins by opening training camps, there are many more of these types of injuries are reported every day or two.
After several text and voice discussions with my son, I have come to several conclusions. I believe the changes imposed by the new CBA has lead to more injuries. I say this for two reasons.
- Players must now rely on themselves or private trainers during the offseason to stay in condition
- Teams are now much more restricted (therefore, less influential) regarding offseason and in-season conditioning
I do believe the Dallas Cowboys Strength and Conditioning staffs are doing all they can within League/NFLPA’s new guidelines. I expect good arguments on both sides of this issue. Some will claim, “less is better” … others will flip the coin and side with the old school (Jimmy Johnson) philosophy of “more is better”. Ultimately, this falls on the shoulders of the players. They must be self-motivated during the offseason and work harder to stay in shape without team supervision. Surely, NFL Strength and Conditioning staffs provide players with a recommended regimen to follow during the offseason.
Since the CBA has been in place, teams are restricted to fewer ‘mandatory’ practices and team activities. The question seems to be, is this beneficial or detrimental to long-term strength and conditioning issues?
I hope to hear from fans that have expertise in this area … doctors, trainers, physical therapists, coaches, etc. to learn what is causing the increase in injuries and more importantly … what the NFL should do to reduce them in the future. Regarding hamstrings, is it largely an issue of not stretching properly? Are players not taking in enough liquids? Are shoes and artificial turf putting players at risk?
Hate to see the Dallas Cowboys go through another injury plagued season like last year. Is there something the NFL can do to decrease the odds of them occurring and recurring?
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