Are Running Quarterbacks Like Colin Kaepernick More Injury Prone?
After tallying 181 yards rushing with two TDs running and two more passing, the success of Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco’s NFC Divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers has fueled a non-stop debate about the running quarterback.
Specifically, the debate centers around whether the risk of investing a team’s resources (both money and time spent crafting the team’s offensive philosophy) because of the perception that running quarterback have the propensity of getting injured more often, is worth employing that type of player. With Super Bowl XLVII just hours away and Kaepernick about to take center stage, the debate is hotter than ever.
According to Omar Bashir and Chris Oates of Slate, running quarterbacks do NOT get hurt more than pocket passers. Their findings include detailed statistical analysis comparing injuries between the two types of QB’s.
A comparison using this admittedly simple procedure reveals almost no difference between injury-type distributions for the two groups. In each group, the lower body took the most punishment, and just more than 10 percent of injuries affected the head or neck. If mobility is a major determinant of quarterback health, we would expect this comparison to reveal a difference, but the injury patterns are remarkably similar.
In sum, it seems that standing in the pocket is just as dangerous as scrambling around. Yes, RGIII left the Redskins’ playoff game with his knee twisted so badly that you hoped Fox was experimenting with in-game CGI. But when we take the long view, serious injury doesn’t discriminate based on one’s ability to race.”
The Slate article titled, The Running Men is a great read and I would encourage you drop what you are doing this instant and read it. If nothing else bookmark it and peruse its contents sometime before kickoff on Sunday.
Enjoy the game folks.