The NFL failed to account for more than 100 concussions in studies that the league used to show the rate of concussions among players, making the injury appear less common than it actually was, according to an investigation published today by The New York Times.
Missing more than 10 percent of concussions
The missing injuries make up more than 10 percent of diagnosed concussions in the NFL between 1996 and 2001. Although the concussion studies covering that time have long been put into question by some experts, the Times report suggests they may be more flawed than was already thought.
Among the bizarre holes in the data used for the studies, the paper found there were no concussions listed for the Dallas Cowboys, despite prominent media reports to the contrary. Star quarterback Troy Aikman, for example, was concussed four times over the 1996 to 2001 time period, but was not included at all by the league's studies, The Times reports.
The NFL has since responded to the article, claiming that the data was not missing for nefarious reasons. "The studies never claimed to be based on every concussion that was reported or that occurred," the league said in a statement. "Moreover, the fact that not all concussions were reported is consistent with the fact that reporting was strongly encouraged by the League but not mandated, as documents provided to The Times showed."