Last season in the NFL, there were a record-high 281 concussions during the league’s preseason and regular season.
This year, according to numbers released by the league yesterday, the number of recorded concussions in games and practices plummetted all the way down to 214, a drop of 23.8 percent.
Specifically, in the regular season, the number of documented concussions dropped 29 percent from 190 in 2018 to just 135 in 2017.
The total number of 214 concussions in the preseason and regular season is the lowest since the 2014 season, when 206 concussions were reported.
“It’s a significant decrease, and one that we’re pleased with,” said NFL executive vice president for health and safety initiativesJeff Miller. “It was obviously an advance for the health and safety of our players to see fewer concussions. But it is simply one step in our longer effort to continue to drive down concussion rates.”
Miller also said the league wants to pinpoint exactly why the decrease happened as opposed to just being happy that it did.
One theory is that helmets that performed well in concussion testing have become more prevalent in the league. Another is that the new lowering-the-helmet policy the league introduced before this season is paying dividends.
In addition to the concussion figures, the NFL also announced medial collateral ligament tears combined dropped from 143 last season to 131 this year.
On the other hand, anterior cruciate ligament tears went up from 54 in 2017 to 57 this season.