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Here is an authoritative medical paper on Achilles injuries for NFL Players

July 21, 2021 02:24AM
Reality check time and it's not particularly hopeful. The Akers thing is serious and more probable than not a career altering injury especially for a RB.


AOFAS Annual Meeting 2017 1
Epidemiology and Outcomes of Achilles Tendon Ruptures in the National Football League
Selene Parekh, MD,MBA, Jay Shah, MBA
Category: Ankle,Sports
Keywords: Achilles Tendon Rupture, National Football League, Return to Play, Performance
Introduction/Purpose: While much less common than ankle sprains and other sports injuries, Achilles tendon ruptures have
represented unexpected and potentially career-altering injuries for professional football athletes in the National Football League
(NFL). Over the past decade, the technique for surgical repair of the ruptured Achilles tendon has evolved. Mini-open and
percutaneous techniques have become more common, allowing for the minimization of wound complications and expediting the
rehabilitation of athletes. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to update the epidemiology of Achilles tendon ruptures in
the NFL, and to analyze how recovery and post-injury performance of professional football players with this injury have
progressed in the last two decades.
Methods: Several online sources including NFL news and injury reports, player registries, and player statistic databases were
cross-referenced to conduct a retrospective identification of all NFL players sustaining complete Achilles tendon ruptures during
the 2010-2015 NFL seasons. Yearly player performance statistics were also obtained and recorded for both offensive and
defensive players. A power rating formula and “approximate value” algorithm, commonly used to evaluate player production, were
borrowed to calculate yearly Offensive and Defensive performance metrics for each injured player. These calculated measurements
were used to quantify both offensive and defensive player performance up to 3 seasons before and after their respective
Achilles tendon rupture injuries, allowing for each player to serve as his own control.
Results: 78 Achilles tendon ruptures were identified in professional football players during the 2010-2015 NFL seasons. 58% of
these injuries occurred during the preseason. Of those that suffered an Achilles tendon rupture, 26% did not ever return to play
in the NFL. Players who did return to play in the NFL took an average of 9 months to recover after the date of injury. Across all
positions, there was a net decrease in power ratings by 22% and a net decrease in approximate value by 23% over 3 years
following player return after Achilles tendon rupture. Across all positions, running backs saw the biggest decrease in production
with a 78% decrease over 3 years post-injury in both power ratings and approximate value.
Conclusion: While the incidence of Achilles tendon ruptures in NFL players, especially in the preseason, has increased
substantially, more players are returning to play after injury and with better post-injury performance as compared to the previous
two decades. These injuries should still be considered potentially career-altering as 26% of players never return to play after
Achilles tendon ruptures and there is still a net decrease in power-ratings by 22% for those who do return. However, these
numbers optimistically suggest that advancements in treatment protocol and rehabilitation are resulting in faster recovery and
improved performance after Achilles tendon ruptures in NFL players.
Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics, 2(3)
DOI: 10.1177/2473011417S000314
©The Author(s) 2017


If you are the Rams GM and HC, you have little choice but to prepare to never again have the same player. Sure, there is a possibility that he returns. But the margin between pretty good, good, and great is fairly small. If I'm the Rams, I'm assuming the worst and plan for the future accordingly. And that begins by NOT trading for a RB unless that RB is thought to be your future war horse. Otherwise, keep your draft picks and pick up a 1 year rental, and have a RB by committee until you find the guy you want or Akers beats the odds.
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