The San Francisco 49ers roster has been ravaged by injuries this season. The team currently has 18 players on injured reserve, and the weekly injury report has had several regular names making appearances.
There have been a host of sprains and ligament issues, but there have also been quite a few broken bones. General manager John Lynch recognizes the issue, and said on Tuesday that the team is taking a deep dive to try and figure out what is leading to this. He didn’t offer detail as to what they have thus far found or what they will be specifically looking into, but the team is going to try and find some answers. This quotation comes courtesy of The Athletic’s David Lombardi.
“Some of the things are freak injuries, but yes, there has been an alarming amount, so we’re going to study everything. That’s part of what I was charged to do, evaluate all football parts of this organization.
“So we’re going to take a deep dive — we already are — into why and if there are any common threads. We’re studying it hard and we’re going to do what we can to make it better. That’s a big part of success in this league: Can you stay healthy?
“Broken forearms from two safeties and a broken thumb from another safety — I don’t know what the answer is there. But we're certainly on our way to studying that.”
I can’t find the quotation now, but a few years back, 49ers executive Paraag Marathe discussed injuries at the Sloan Conference at MIT. He was asked about the next areas of pursuit when it comes to analytics, and he pointed to injuries. There is a certain unpredictability to some injuries, but the thought is that with research, maybe something can be sussed out to improve prevention.
One line of thought on some of the broken bones is that it could be related to tackling technique. This is speculation from a non-medical person, but I would not be surprised if the 49ers medical and football staff were looking at this among many other possibilities. It is certainly possible this is just a freak occurrence, but with millions invested in these players, it makes plenty of sense to analyze what they can to try and cut down on the injuries.