Analysis of Football Injuries by Position Group in Division i College Football: A 5-Year Program Review

Michael K. Krill, James R. Borchers, Joshua T. Hoffman, Matthew L. Krill, Timothy E. Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective:The purpose of this study was to evaluate injury characteristics by position groups.Design:Prospective, observational study.Setting:A single, major Division I collegiate football program.Participants:All players on a collegiate football program each fall regular season.Independent Variables:Exposure to Division I collegiate football and position groups.Main Outcome Measures:Injury rates (IRs) per 1000 athlete exposures (AEs) and injury rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated and analyzed for all monitored injury variables, which included time in the season, body part, type of injury, game and practice injuries, mechanism of injury, and type of exposure.Results:During the 2012 to 2016 fall regular seasons, there were 200 reported injuries sustained from 48 615 AE. The overall 5-year IR was 4.11 per 1000 AEs (3.57-4.72 95% confidence intervals). Skill players sustained the highest IR in the preseason (IR, 7.56) compared with line (IR, 4.26) and other (IR, 4.10) position groups. In addition, skill players demonstrated a significantly higher IRR compared with the line (IRR, 1.75, P < 0.05) and other (IRR, 1.85, P < 0.05) position groups.Conclusions:Skill players sustained most of their injuries in the preseason, whereas the linemen and other position groups suffered most of their injuries in the first half of the regular season. Skill players demonstrated a significantly higher IR in preseason, noncontact mechanism injuries, and injuries to the upper leg and thigh compared with line and other position groups. Efforts to reduce soft-Tissue muscle strains in skill players targeting the preseason may provide one of the best opportunities to significantly decrease current football IRs, whereas efforts to reduce contact exposures may have the greatest effect on concussions and contact mechanism injuries for the other position group. There were no significant differences in IRs between position groups and type of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • epidemiology
  • football (American)
  • injury prevention
  • position groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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