The NFL saw a noticeable increase in concussions during the 2022 regular season.
There were 149 concussions suffered across 271 games, according to data released by the league on Friday. It marks an 18% rise from 2021, when 126 concussions were suffered in 272 games. From 2018 to 2020, the average was 130.
Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said the league’s “broadened and strengthened” protocols chances were one of the factors that led to the increased number.
“We continue to become more cautious and conservative in our evaluation and diagnosis of concussions,” Sills said. “That's not just an opinion. That's backed up by the data.”
Concussions and head injuries were a prominent storyline throughout the 2022 regular season. Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered two concussions and only cleared league protocols on Wednesday. He missed five games in all, including the Dolphins’ wild card loss against the Buffalo Bills.
Sills said the NFL saw an uptick in concussion evaluations performed each game, reaching 1.6, and that there were nearly double the number of medical timeouts made by officials and independent spotters from 2021 to 2022.
The NFL’s data found that the total number of preseason and regular season injuries went down 5.6%. Sills said the number of injuries to lower extremities dropped 14%.