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What Does It Mean To Be Injury Prone In The NFL?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries are the ultimate Grim Reaper in the NFL. No matter what team you investigate, you’ll find them one insurmountable injury away from contender to afterthought.

But everyone has a different interpretation of what “injury prone” or “injury concerns” means. Does it mean plates and screws inserted in a foot? Does it mean a lingering hamstring injury? Does it mean torn ACL’s or MCL’s? Does it mean torn Achilles or triceps?

That’s the real question I want to attack: what injuries really bother you?

As a collegiate basketball player, I can tell you that basketball players are worried about knees and ankles. Sprains? Eh, whatever. Tears and breaks? That’s a problem. Shoulders are more of a case-by-case basis, but do not present the same risk as being able to plant and change directions that basketball requires on a daily basis.

Football is a different creature, with a separate set of risks and rewards. Modern advances in science, health, and medicine yield that an NFL player can return from an ACL tear in less than a year and still function at a high level. And one can lose better parts of a season with a tweaked hammy or turf toe.

The Miami Dolphins signed many o’ contracts with players under the “injury risk” or “injury prone” label. But what does those designations actually mean, and to what risk do each of them pose, or how does one come into that label in the first place?

In other words, what injuries are necessary and sufficient to create the label of being an injury concern?

I don’t know the answer, I just know that it’s a salient question for the Miami Dolphins. We have guys with bad shoulders and knees, returning from torn Achilles - the entire spectrum of injury seems to embody the Miami Dolphins roster. But if we examined all NFL rosters, what “injury concerns” might we have?

What’s your definition for a “injury prone player”? Is it length removed from injury? Is it total amount of injuries? Is it a specific kind of injury?