The New York Giants have, undoubtedly, been hit harder by injuries than pretty much any other NFL team over the past two seasons. A league-high 20 players on injured reserve this season. A league-high 91 games lost to injury by starters last season.
That leads for cries from the fan base that someone has to be held accountable. You read them in the comments here at Big Blue View or across Twitter. Fire the strength and conditioning coach! Fire Coughlin! Fire somebody! Change something! Somebody has to be to blame for all of these injuries. Right?
Well, the one thing fans don't want to hear is that there is no real explanation. Other than the fact that this is football and injuries happen. That, however, appears to be the medical opinion.
Dr. Kyle Flik, an orthopedic surgeon in upstate New York said that the type of injuries being suffered by the Giants were "bum luck, honestly" and added that "injury rates will worsen as the game continues to get faster, stronger, etc."
In terms of training methods, Flik said "I don't believe there is any significant difference among teams with respect to training methods."
The problem with determining a root cause for the injuries suffered by the Giants is that it is basically impossible to do. Knee injuries, toe injuries, a torn biceps, torn pectoral muscles, leg fractures, finger injuries and neck injuries have nothing in common, and little to nothing to do with training methods.
NJ.com contacted Dr. David Chao, a former head team physician with 20 years of NFL experience. His opinion coincided with Flik's.
"I can say that every time I've looked at something ... if you look at the Giants injuries from afar ‐ I haven't studied it all ‐ it's not like they have seven of the same injuries. They have a broad spectrum of injuries," Chao said.
Chao went through some of the specific injuries suffered by the Giants.
"If you want to go case by case, I don't see Victor Cruz as preventable," said Chao, who noted the Giants' training and medical staff have a reputation as being among the league's best. "I don't see Jon Beason as preventable. I don't see Prince Amukamara and the biceps as preventable. I mean, the running back ran through his arms as he was making a tackle. Robert Ayers the same. I'd call all of those non-preventable, bad-luck injuries. Geoff Schwartz too."
The Giants' injury list has been ridiculously long for two seasons now. Those injuries have helped wreck both season. No denying those facts. Wanting someone or something to blame is also understandable. No one on the outside wants to hear that the situation is unfortunate, but also without a real cause. That, though, is most likely the case.
Dr. Kyle Flik Bio
Dr. Flik graduated from Dartmouth College where he earned 8 varsity letters as a member of both Division 1 ice hockey and lacrosse teams. Before starting medical school at the University of Vermont, he further pursued his athletic interests by playing professional ice hockey in Europe. Dr. Flik attended the Hospital for Special Surgery, long considered one of the top orthopaedic training hospitals in the country. His interest in sports medicine led him to Rush University where he completed a fellowship and served as assistant team physician for the Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Bulls (NBA), and Chicago Rush (Arena Football League). Since coming to the Capital Region, Dr. Flik has served as head team physician for the Albany Patroons and Legends (CBA), Albany Buzz/Sportimes (World Team Tennis) and the Albany Academies teams.