Study findings have shown no difference in National Football League players’ performance on the field after a concussion, regardless of whether the players missed games due to their injuries.
The case-control study included 124 NFL players who suffered a total of 131 concussions between 2008 and 2012. Players who had a concussion were identified using team injury reports, and player performance ratings were determined through ProFootballFocus performance scores.
Seventy-two of the concussions reported did not result in a missed game, whereas 59 resulted in players missing a single game. In total, 81 games were missed due to concussion during the period studied.
The researchers determined that performance scores were statistically similar between players who returned to play within 7 days following a concussion and those who missed at least one game. Additionally, pre-injury performance scores were similar to post-injury performance scores among players who did not miss any games.
Based on multiple regression analysis, the researchers found that age and experience positively correlated with early return to play following a concussion, with an 18% increase in the odds of returning to play within 7 days for every additional career year.
Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.