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Does the shortened recovery time created by playing

weekday games lead to the increase of injuries for NFL


players?

Research Team: Colin Foley, ATS and Tristian Crockett, ATS


Investigation advisory Committee: Chaypin Buchanan LAT, ATC, Beth
Funkhouser MEd, LAT, ATC, CSCS, Dennis C. Cobler Ed.D, ATC, and Joe Vess

04/23/2018
Table of Contents
CLINICAL SCENARIO 2
DEVELOPMENT OF CLINICAL QUESTION: 2
DEVELOPMENT OF INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE: 2
FOCUSED CLINICAL QUESTION: 2
KEYWORDS: 2
OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS: 2-3
METHODOLOGY 3
EXPERIMENTAL HYPOTHESES 2
ASSUMPTIONS & LIMITATIONS 2
BEST EVIDENCE REVIEWED: 3
SUBJECTS 3
INSTRUMENTS 4
PROCEDURE 3-4
ANALYSIS 4
RESULTS 4-5
CLINICAL BOTTOM LINE 6
IMPLICATIONS FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE 6
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH 6
REFERENCES: 6

1
CLINICAL SCENARIO
During the 2017 Fall semester, we heard concerns from NFL players during postgame
interviews. Their concerns danced around the issue with Thursday Night games and
how you’re more likely to be injured on those nights. We then decided to investigate
this claim to see whether or not it is true. This lead to our Clinical Question that we
have created based on the concerns of NFL players.

Development of Clinical Question:


Developing our Clinical Question took time because we were trying to figure out how
to set up our research, and how it could possibly explain the question. We had to
compare the four day turn around to something else to see if this really increased the
chance of injury. We decided to compare a full week and six days of recovery to the
four days of recovery. After we were able to create a full composite 2017 NFL schedule,
we then had to find “reliable” injury reports. These injury reports were reported by
media; NFL .

Development of Investigation Committee:


When looking for suitable candidates for the investigation team, we wanted to have
personnel with a well rounded understanding of players concerns, knowledge on
recovery, and expertise on the sport itself. For the AT advisor we chose Chaypin
because of her knowledge of football and understanding of recovery time. Beth
Funkhouser fit into the role of Faculty Advisor, assisting us with her expertise in
statistical data. Dennis Cobler, a former NCAA football player, assumed the role of
content expert. His knowledge in injury prevention combined with his past athletic
history, led to no question of expertise. Our rock, Joe Vess, took on the role of
Ampersand Center Rep. He helped us formulate thought provoking questions in
analyzing our data.

Focused Clinical Question:


“Does the shortened recovery time created by playing weekday games lead to the
increase of injuries for NFL players?”

Keywords:
NFL, Thursday Night Games, Four Day Recovery, Decreased Recovery, Fatigue

Operational Definitions:
Before starting our statistical collection and analysis, we had to define standard terms.
We defined an “injury” to where a player had to: at least be limited and/or
questionable. Next we had to define what is considered “shortened recovery time.” The

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standard definition of “shortened recovery time” was stated as, when a team had not
received at least a full 7 days of recovery time from their last game to their most recent
game.

METHODOLOGY
When finally trying to quantify our question we needed data that would accurately
relate to our question. We had to set up the schedules for every team in order to
identify what day the game was played on and amount of recovery days between each
game. Next was to set up the exact same layout of the schedules, but instead of dates
we plugged in the amount of injuries each team had during the week following up to
the game. This data set up allowed for us to visualize the collection data we acquired.
Our committee helped with the lay out by guiding our thought process in a way that
was the most simplest version of the collection. Thus, allowing anyone who looked at
our data to understand what exactly they are looking at.

Experimental Hypotheses
The shortened amount of recovery will lead to an increase of injuries.
Null- Having shortened amount of recovery will play no effect on the rate of injuries.

Assumptions & Limitations

During the data collection, we had to assume that if a player suffered an injury that
met our standards then it was accurate and reliable. Honesty in a big business such as
the NFL is sometimes misleading. No one truly knows what is going on with these
teams, so we have to rely on the honesty and integrity of each team. This could lead to
false data acquired for us due to players not injured that the team wants to hold out.
Another limitation, only using one season to answer our clinical question. In terms of
science, we have an insufficient amount of data to support our hypothesis. We
understand that we can’t fully answer our question on the basis of one season, but the
data has shown to be very eye opening. With that said, we have a good foundation to
further explore our question if we so desire to.

Subjects
NFL Players

Instruments
NFL website for injuries and Schedule of all teams.

Procedure
To obtain the most accurate data available, evidence was collected from the NFL. This
was completed every week. First, a composite schedule was made for the entire league.
Then isolation on recovery time was identified. This was accomplished by coordinating

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a time frame of recovery time with a specific color. Next, the composite schedule was
corresponded with a composite collection of injuries. This included specific teams and
weeks. This was all done within our defined terms of “injury” and “shortened recovery
time.” This was simplest path in order to test our hypothesis. See below for example.

Analysis
After we were able to present our data into a neat fashion, the analysis started.
Grouping of recovery time and the number injuries began, using google sheets. The
tests used within this program included: Total SUM, SUM, Total AVERAGE, AVERAGE.
This was done for the entire season (weeks 1-17), first half of the season (weeks 1-9),
and the second half of the season (10-17). The same tests were used in isolation for
each entity.

RESULTS
We broke down our results in two different ways, full Season and separating the
season in half (Weeks 1-9, Weeks 10-17). During the full season we saw that the four
day turn around from game to game had the highest rate of injuries (6.33). Second
largest rate was the six day turn around (5.76), and third went to at least a week turn
around (5.38). For Weeks 1-9, the four day turn around was still the largest (6.44). The
six day turn around came in second (5.64), and at least a week came in third again
(4.2). Weeks 10-17, the at least a week was the largest (6.7) with the four day turn
around second (6.21), and the six day turn around third (5.83).

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Full Season:
Recovery Days At Least a Week 6 Days 4 Days

Exposure 444 38 30

Number of 2390 219 190


Injuries

Average of 5.38 5.76 6.33


Injuries

Weeks 1-9:
Recovery Days At Least a Week 6 Days 4 Days

Exposure 234 14 16

Number of 982 79 103


Injuries

Average of 4.2 5.64 6.44


Injuries

Weeks 10-17:
Recovery Days At Least a Week 6 Days 4 Days

Exposure 210 24 14

Number of 1408 140 87


Injuries

Average of 6.7 5.83 6.21


Injuries

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CLINICAL BOTTOM LINE
The best evidence came through the data collection and analysis of this data. The
analyzed data actually upheld our hypothesis. Looking at each rate we can clearly see
that the overall rate of injury is higher with involvement of Thursday night games. The
only time this was not the case was during the Weeks 10-17 when the higher rate was
the at least a week. We can still conclude that the rate of injuries is much higher with
Thursday night games because of the data.

Implications for Clinical Practice


Using this data/question can enhance our clinical practice in many ways. We have
always heard that game time is when athletes get hurt, but what we didn’t account for
is the amount of recovery between each day and how vital it is. Having this data can
allow for everyone to see that how important recovery is needed. If there are multiple
games to be played in a week then it is best to take full advantage of those days by
trying to teach this to the players and coaches. If we can make the athletes and
coaches understand then there is a good chance that we could potentially limit the
amount of injuries for any team.

Recommendations for Future Research


For future research on this question we will need to examine multiple seasons to
compare statistically. Not being able to run correlations and t-tests has hindered our
results. To be scientifically correct, more data has to be collected as well as more tests
have to be conducted.

REFERENCES:
The NFL Injury Report - NFL.com. (2018). Weekly Team Injuries throughout the season |
NFL.com. [online] Available at: http://www.nfl.com/injuries?week=1 [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].