”I’m in favor of total preparation for the players for the season, and I think that’s been changed significantly and, I would say, not necessarily for the better when you look at the injury numbers.”
– Bill Belichick, head coach, New England Patriots
The New England Patriots may be 11-4 in the 2013 NFL football wagering season, but they have been forced to compensate for the loss of key players to injuries. Six starting players are on the Injured Reserve. The list includes tight end Rob Gronkowski, offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive lineman Vince Wilford, and safety Adrian Wilson. Coach Bill Belichick is convinced that the imposed limits for team practice sessions in the offseason are directly related to the increasing number of injuries.
Belichick told a YouWager news source, ”When you see the number as high as they are, then I don’t think that’s a randomness that’s been two years in a row. I’ve got to think there’s some correlation there.”
Belichick cites the new rules that were incorporated under the labor agreement that ended the lockout in 2011. Serious online sportsbook bettors may remember that under the deal, limits were set for practice sessions, reducing them from 14 weeks to just 9. Belichick maintains that players are more likely to get injured if they have had less preparation. Belichick told YouWager’s source, ”Personally, I think that’s taking the wrong approach. You have a gap between preparation and competition level. And I think that’s where you see a lot of injuries occurring. We get a lot of breakdowns. We get a lot of situations that players just aren’t as prepared as they were in previous years, in my experience anyway.”
Have injuries increased since the rule changes? The National Football League disputes the idea. Michael Signora, a spokesman for the league said, ”We carefully monitor player injuries. There is no evidence that the new work rules have had an adverse effect on the injury rate or that injuries have in fact increased.”
A football wagering analyst at YouWager admits that it is hard to determine exact numbers of players that have sat out games because of injuries. Not all injuries are reported. Some injured players were released from their teams. During the years between the 2000 and 2006 NFL football wagering seasons, the yearly average number for injured players was around 239. In the last 7 seasons, the average has increased to 314.
Belichick said injuries have increased in the last three seasons. He did not offer any figures to YouWager’s source to back his claim. He said it was ”a matter of record not opinion.”