Extracted from an article from AANS regarding traumatic brain injury (TBI) data from 2012:
Defensive backs in
American football are at the greatest risk for both fatal head injury
and serous cervical spine injury.:
"The majority of catastrophic injuries occur while playing defensive
football. In 2012, two players were on defense and one was in a weight
lifting session. Since 1977, 228 players with permanent cervical cord
injuries were on the defensive side of the ball and 55 were on the
offensive side with 44 unknown. Defensive backs were involved with 34.6
percent of the permanent cervical cord injuries followed by member of
the kick-off team at 9.2 percent and linebackers at 9.5 percent."
even a small amount of time watching high school,college and
professional football on TV makes it seem obvious that the vast majority of
high impact collisions occur in the defensive zone involving defensive
backs and either runners or receivers and on kickoffs.Quarterbacks
receive many hits with the helmets impacting the ground and have a
significant risk of concussion but apparently have lower risk of fatal
injury or injury leading to permanent disability.Offensive and defensive linemen may
receive more sub-concussive head blows over a game or a season and
whatever the long term consequences of that may be seem less likely
to regularly be involved in high impact collisions and therefore less
at risk for serious brain or cervical spine injury. There is a reason for ambulances to be parked near the playing field of high school football games attesting to the cognitive dissonance of some of the parents cheering them on.The EMTs are not on site to help manage sprained ankles.
Don't let your babies grow up to be defensive backs.
Notice: This is a lightly edited and altered version of an earlier commentary on this blog. As I see high school kids on the practice field in early August in Texas with heat indices pushing 105 my antipathy to high school and youth football flares again.