Miami Norland graduate Antonio Brown, a rising star wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, became the latest high profile athlete to suffer a concussion during last week’s NFL Wild Card games.
Brown plays a position that is often prone to such injuries because at times receivers are left vulnerable to a high-speed collision with an oncoming defender.
But more information researched in recent years has revealed that while it’s one of the more dangerous positions, playing wide receiver isn’t the only position putting football players at high-risk of suffering concussions.
The data collected over the past three years by the University of Miami in conjunction with Miami-Dade County public schools has broken down the trend of concussions suffered by football players by position.
The study revealed that roughly 70 percent of the reported concussions happened in football — a high number because of the larger number of players in the game than in other high school sports.
The study showed wide receivers and linebackers seem to be the positions most prone to concussions or brain-related injury.
Concussions reported among linebackers remained steady over the past three seasons going from 15 to 18 to 17. Since linebackers often charge the ball carrier at high speed leading to violent collisions that can injure both players involved. Wide receiver concussions steadily increased from seven to 13 to 16.
Cornerbacks (13 reported during the 2014-15 season) and safeties (8 reported during 2014-15), two other skill-positions in which players also experience high-speed collisions have also trended upward over the past two seasons.
Offensive linemen, who are not usually at risk of getting hit at high speed by an oncoming player, also have concussion rates trending upward. Guards (the interior linemen) suffered 11 concussions according to the report. Tackles, which are usually backing up to protect the quarterback, were shown to have sharply increased with seven reported concussions this past school year.
Kicker was the only position with no concussions reported.