By Jordyn Sava
In terms of players' physical preparation for the season, they did not receive the same amount of training as years before: no preseason, no minicamps, no organized team activities, no scrimmages. Instead, individual workout routines, regimens and personal training have been emphasized like never before.
Injuries happen in the NFL every week, but even players and fans were surprised by the unusually long, star-studded list of injuries that came out since week 2 of the season.
Between Giants running back Saquon Barkley getting carried off the field and Panthers running back Christian McCaffery, people are wondering whether there is a correlation between the fallout from Covid-19 and injuries this NFL season.
While nothing has been officially said by the NFL, individuals are speculating as to why week 2 seemed especially brutal. With no preseason, coaches are worried about the safety and conditions of their players this year. The altered start of the season has caused fear amongst many within the NFL.
But even with hardcore, self-taught workout routines, many players may not be in the best shape they could be when it comes time to take the field. As a result, fans are seeing an increase of players suffering soft tissue injuries.
Soft tissue injuries are caused by sudden trauma or overuse of muscles. In order to combat this kind of injury, athletes must gradually increase the workload they endure, according to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
While in other years the injuries would be blamed on the rigorous weekly games, this year seems different, as people are accusing external forces like the lack of preseason games or a sticky turf at MetLife stadium that sidelined many players on the San Francisco 49ers.
It is hard for anyone to see players get brutally injured doing what they love. Mike Weiss, a junior football player and health and physical education major is no exception, but believes that “given the situation we’re all in, (not) much could have been done to prevent the injuries this season.”
Still, he thinks that one thing that could be adding to the high amount of soft tissue injuries this year was the lack of a preseason.
“I would completely agree that no preseason is part of the reason that there are more soft tissue injuries this season,” Weiss added.
Freshman business management major Amir Vick is also a member of the College’s football team, and he says that these injuries in the first few weeks have shocked and hurt him.
“Every game I watch, there seems to be at least three people getting hurt,” Vick said.
When the plans for this season were first given the green light, many opted out because of the uncertainty of how the NFL would combat Covid-19.
“At first I thought they had everything under control. Now, I’m kind of curious as to how teams are dealing with it,” Vick said.
At the College, some athletes are worried for their own safety after months off from practices and games.
In order to keep themselves in the best condition possible, both Weiss and Vick have been working just as hard as they would during any other season.
Both individuals said that they have been working out almost every day, whether it’s on the field, in a gym or garage, lifting weights or going for a run. They hope that this type of hard work and dedication will strengthen them for whenever they return to the field.
If 2020 has shown the NFL anything, it has emphasized the importance of a preseason. Now it is up to the College to learn from the mistakes of the NFL and keep their athletes safe whenever live sports occur.