2021 Football Draft Kit: Injury Analysis

2021 Football Draft Kit: Injury Analysis

This article is part of our Football Draft Kit series.

The 2020 NFL season was unlike any other as teams navigated a campaign in the midst of a global pandemic. The threat of COVID-19 loomed throughout, and players were unable to prepare as usual without benefit of a normal offseason or preseason. Players were isolated from team medical staff for much of last summer, and then without preseason games did not participate in game-like conditions until Week 1 of the regular season. 

Multiple top-rated fantasy players missed substantial chunks of the year, including Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham. One injury, though, was particularly impactful across the league — the dreaded ACL tear. According to league data, in-season anterior cruciate ligament tears reached their highest total in five years.

One of the 40 players who sustained an ACL injury last year was rookie Joe Burrow. In Week 11, the Bengals quarterback suffered a complex knee injury that included tears to his ACL and medial collateral ligament (MCL).

ACL tears have become commonplace among quarterbacks in the NFL, with Jimmy Garoppolo, Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz just a few of the names to sustain the injury in recent seasons. Injury data on 13 ACL tears from 11 quarterbacks (Sam Bradford and Carson Palmer each suffered two, poor guys) is encouraging for those considering investing in Burrow this year. 

Those quarterbacks, going back to 2005, are listed in the chart below. Some, like Burrow, had additional knee injuries that accompanied the ACL tears.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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