bengals injury report

bengals injury report

The Impact of Injuries on the Cincinnati Bengals

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1. Introduction

The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team located in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team is headquartered in Paul Brown Stadium and has its training facility at the Riverfront Stadium. The Bengals are a relatively young franchise, playing their first season in 1968. They quickly rose to be a solid competitor and even made two Super Bowl appearances in the early 1980s. The team would not win a Super Bowl title until the 1988 season. Along with their five division titles and nine playoff appearances, the Bengals have some history of successful seasons. However, in recent years, the team has been stricken with injuries that appear to have a direct correlation with terrible seasons. This situation has called for an investigation of the extent to which the injuries have produced adverse effects on the Bengals’ recent seasons. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the cost of injuries on the Cincinnati Bengals seasons from 2003 to present day, where the cost varies from season to season and ultimately has left the team unsuccessful.

2. Overview of Bengals Injury Report

In recent years, the month of September generally elicits a sense of optimism and rebirth throughout the tri-state area as it means the start of a new Cincinnati Bengals season. It’s a time where thousands upon thousands of Cincinnati faithful roar with cheers and grind their teeth in anxiousness as they hope this year will be the year that brings about the third Super Bowl Championship for their beloved Bengals. As of right now, that hope and anxiety has been put on hold as a sense of pessimism and concern has washed over the city due to the report of injuries which have seriously decreased the chances the team had coming into this season. This report aims to take a look at the numerous injuries the Bengals have accrued thus far and how they affect the team as a whole. The Bengals suffered two major losses during the preseason in their first and second string middle linebackers. Both Brian Simmons and Ed Hartwell suffered knee injuries which required arthroscopic surgery. Simmons went down first in the first two-a-day practice with a slightly torn MCL. He has been doing significantly better than the Bengals had hoped and could possibly be back by the third game of the season. The team is very relieved that Simmons wasn’t hurt worse and that he was the only injury to come out of the two-a-days. Dismay would strike again for the linebacking corp as second string MLB Ed Hartwell would suffer a similar injury but much worse. An MRI would later reveal that he had partially torn his ACL and would require surgery which will cause him to miss the entire season. Hartwell was a free agent pick up that the Bengals had high hopes for and was said to have an almost identical skill set to that of the starter Brian Simmons. The loss of both players was particularly hurtful to the Bengals as it was felt in this case that the MLB position was now a weak spot on the defense.

3. Consequences of Injuries on Team Performance

The impact of wins and losses on a season is undeniably the most critical factor of team performance. Often for the Bengals, the outcome of a particular season has been determined early into the season opening and up front schedule. The methodology used to identify losses resulting from injury was quite simple. The Bengals have an established franchise quarterback in Andy Dalton. From the year of Dalton’s drafting in 2011 and through the 2019 season, a “good” Bengals season was determined as having made the playoffs. Andy Dalton, at the time of his drafting, was a second-round pick, and the seasons following a second-round pick essentially yielded as the end of Carson Palmer’s stint with the Bengals. The seasons between the Carson Palmer era and the Dalton era were essentially a low point for the franchise, and a change at quarterback was long overdue. A good Bengals season often resulted in a Dalton postseason appearance. Therefore, for injuries resulting in seasons without a playoff berth, it was recorded as a loss.

3.1 – Wins and Losses

The Cincinnati Bengals have been plagued by injuries over the last seven seasons. From 2013-2019, there have been 1562 injuries accumulated, which includes practices and preseason. These injuries have had a significant consequence on the team’s performance, leading to early struggling and never fully recovering during the subsequent seasons. This section will analyze the direct consequence of wins and losses resulting from injury, while later sections will explore how these injuries lead to wins and losses and analyze the salary cap and its consequences of spending in the wake of injuries.

4. Strategies to Minimize Injuries

These are great steps needed to further the event of injury prevention and keep the team’s best players on the field. He is very optimistic and motivated in creating the Christ-like fully healthy human. With a more direct approach to player management and recovery and the continued development of injury prevention strategies, his methods of accomplishing the aforementioned components are sure to see progression. Three steps forward and none back is the ideal scenario.

– Preventative Maintenance Re-structure: A group of players identified as higher injury risk or currently rehabilitating from an injury will have a more specialized practice plan targeted to improve functional movement capabilities and strength and conditioning status while reducing repetition and exposure to re-injury.

– Performance Testing and Injury Prediction Model: Serial athletic performance testing will be completed between various time points in the off-season and regular season. By looking at changes in on-field performance and measurable indicators of increased injury risk, an individual’s health and likelihood of future injury can be determined. This information will be used to make roster decisions and develop injury prevention strategies for potentially a very small high-risk group.

– Post-Practice GPS Monitoring: GPS systems will be used to monitor how much distance the players are covering during practices. Comparing this to the volume of change of direction distance and total sprint distance will give a clear understanding of the amount of high-intensity loads the players are experiencing. This information will be used to ensure the proper balance between high-intensity running and rest/active recovery is reached.

– Coach’s Injury Report: A weekly assessment completed by the strength and conditioning staff subjectively reporting the extent of the injury each player is dealing with. The information obtained from this report will be used during the staff’s weekly meeting to make better-informed decisions on how to manage practice and game reps for the player in an effort to conserve and/or recover full health.

Since the Bengals moved forward with hiring Mackenzie into the newly created position, they have seen improvement in player performance, reduced the amount of time players are forced to miss due to injury, and kept the players on the field. Under the direction of Mackenzie, the following components have been implemented and will continue to be developed.

5. Conclusion

As a result, the season ending number of starters on I.R. has drastically decreased from the last three seasons, with 7 in 2016, 8 in 2015, and 14 in 2014. On top of that, the decrease in games missed by starters shows that not only has the depth of the Bengals gotten better, evidenced by less desperation plays by young guys resulting in injury, but the performance of the team has been healthier and the ability to field the team’s best player has increased in the 2017 season. This shows that the trend of improvement in player availability including performance of injured players has even included best performance at the top of the organizational depth chart. This season there was a decrease in the number of games missed by regular or “big” contributors, with 48 in 2016, 50 in 2015, and 72 in 2014. An example of a big contributor would be current 2017 Pro Bowl Alternate Darqueze Dennard, who in 2016 had missed 2 games due to a hamstring injury, 8 games counting 2016 preseason and into the season, due to an ankle injury, and 1 game due to an illness. That is not a single season that is indicative of good performance and availability. However in 2017 Darqueze in the season has not missed a single game and was available to play at his best for the team. This trend of improvement at all levels of player availability has been a huge factor in the Bengals bounce-back from a 6-9-1 2016 season to a current 6-8 record in a competitive 2017 season.

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