Saturday, August 6, 2011

NFL Should Expect More Injuries in 2011 Due To Lockout

Despite the ending of the NFL lockout roughly two weeks ago, NFL players and teams will continue to deal with its lingering effects.   Injuries are expected to be greater in number and severity than usual due to a lack of proper fitness heading into training camp, as well as not being able to use their regular training facilities (and staff) for the past five months.

John Clayton is reporting on twitter (@ClaytonESPN) that he knows of eight Achilles tendon tears in players around the NFL since camps opened a little over a week ago.  Achilles tendon tears typically occur in an athlete who is ramping up activity too quickly after a layoff.  Calf muscles that haven't been properly trained or stretched can weaken, putting too much stress on its associated tendon, the Achilles.
Teams are concerned that they're going to see an increased number of other severe injuries (stress fracutres, torn ACLs) that can occur when a professional football player hasn't done enough in the off-season.

Typically in the off-season, many NFL players will use the training expertise of groups like IMG performance, which specializes in professional sports training and nutrition.
"In the best case, my guess is that 25 percent [of the league's players], over the duration of the lockout, have been doing the right things training-wise on a consistent basis," Trevor Moawad, director of performance for IMG, said. "I'm talking about max intensity, and lifting at the local gym is not max intensity. If they were in an environment like IMG or a top training facility, being pushed and challenged, they'll be fine." 
"I think the percentage of athletes being injured in the league will be very high," said Jeff Dillman, the head of physical conditioning at IMG. "A lot of players trained, but they didn't really 'train' like we do here. I think there will be 75 percent more injuries this year than in the past."
***Update: Aug. 8, Rookie Lions running back Mikel Leshoure is the latest victim of an Achilles tear and is expected to lose the entire season.

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