How Many More Injuries in an 18-Game Season?

One of the biggest question marks surrounding the NFL’s push for an expanded season of 18 games involves injuries. NFL players already suffer far too many injuries, especially gruesome ligament tears, bone breakages, and serious concussions. Adding two more games would seemingly exacerbate this problem.

However, there have been few real studies of injuries that give us any idea of what to expect out of two more games. Plus, just looking at all injuries isn’t very helpful. Every player gets nicked up, and sometimes misses a game or two here or there during the season (think Donovan McNabb circa September 2009). Those aren’t the injuries that people are worried about with two more games on the schedule.

The real question is season-ending, potentially career-ending, injuries. How much more serious risk would the NFL be subjecting these players to?