The NFL Scouting Combine is a weeklong showcase where collegiate football players are tested and evaluated. Because thorough injury evaluations are conducted by skilled medical teams, with supplemental imaging, the event provides a unique opportunity to collect and analyze injury data among an elite, high-demand athlete population. This study therefore aimed to characterize the epidemiological characteristics of labral tears, including anterior tears, posterior tears, combined anterior and posterior lab- ral tears, and superior labral anterior-posterior (SLAP) tears, in elite football players by analyzing the records of NFL Combine participants. We hypothesized that certain tear patterns would be more prevalent in certain player positions due to the repetitive movements exerted during play, the loads to which the shoulder is subjected, and position-specific training. We also hypothesized that line- men, both offensive and defensive, would have a higher incidence of posterior labral tears because of the at-risk shoulder orientation that their position requires, whereas SLAP tears would be more prevalent in quarterbacks owing to the overhead throwing motion of their position. Anterior labral tears were hypothesized to be more prevalent in wide receivers, tight ends, and other skill positions in which the player uses the arm in a more outstretched position, which increases the risk of traumatic anterior dislocation during tackling, collisions, or forceful landing.
Full Article: Prevalence of Shoulder Labral Injury in Collegiate Football Players at the National Football League Scouting Combine