Off-Season Injury List Growing, Claims Browns NT Phil Taylor

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws to a receiver as Ramon Foster #73 blocks defensive lineman Phil Taylor #98 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Browns NT Phil Taylor joined Ravens DE Terrell Suggs as a victim of an off-season injury likely to keep him off the field for quite a while.

Taylor tore a pectoral muscle while working out, and Browns head coach Pat Shurmur said the timetable of his return is "more months than weeks."

The worst part of these injuries, outside the damaging blow to the defenses of their respective teams, is they're random; they can happen to anyone. It makes this time of the year volatile and dangerous.

A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training shows, within collegiate sports, football has having the highest rate of injury per athlete-exposure (A-E), meaning combining games and practices. During the fall season, football has a 35.9 injuries per 1,000 A-E, considerably higher than any other sport. In the off-season, football has 9.8 injuries per 1,000 A-E.

While the study shows injuries are far more likely to happen in games than practice in all sports, the amount of injuries within football practices is substantially higher than any other sport.

The Steelers lost RT Willie Colon to an Achilles injury in May of 2010. It's the same area of injury as Suggs, and Eagles LT Jason Peters, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in April. Ditto for Buccaneers DE Da'Quan Bowers.

Taylor's injury occurred while lifting weights. His is the same injury that took down Browns LB D'Qwell Jackson in 2009. Conditioning is a vital part of the off-season, and players have to do it, but sometimes it just feels like surviving the offseason is just as tough as making it through the year relatively unscathed.

Be safe, Steelers linemen. Stretch and use a spotter.

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