The Nastiest Injury in Sports
December 11, 2013 1:26 PM Subscribe
posted by savetheclocktower (34 comments total)
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After a weekend in which tight end Rob Gronkowski and safety Tyrann Mathieu both sustained season-ending tears to their anterior cruciate ligaments
, many NFL fans are wondering why there seem to be more such injuries this season than in seasons past. Grantland looks at the dreaded ACL tear
and tries to solve the puzzle.
Some (including T.J. Ward, Gronkowski's tackler on the play which injured him) blame the rules that discourage shots to the head
, claiming they force defenders to go low in order to make tackles. Others point to the shorter training camps and new limitations on offseason work
that the players negotiated for in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.
Outside the NFL, ACL tears are increasingly common in the NBA, with Derrick Rose the most notable victim. Last May, Rose tore the ACL in his left knee; last month, he tore the meniscus, the ACL's neighbor, in his right knee. And, for reasons that haven't yet been identified, women are far more at risk for ACL tears than men
. Though, as Dejuan Blair has demonstrated
, it's possible to play professional sports without any ACLs at all.