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What’s the cost of getting hurt for football players?

Injuries take a physical toll on players, but repairing them creates a financial toll as well.

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

“Paxton Lynch's injury is going to cost $3,520.”

Injuries are simply a fact of life in the NFL. The league works to minimize the dangers, albeit with less dedication than many people would wish, but they’re always going to be a part of the game. I’d say they’re a weekly occurrence, but even that doesn’t quite describe the unfortunate reality that’s been visited on players like Teddy Bridgewater and Deshaun Watson.

As fans, we’re used to lamenting injuries’ impacts on our team’s performance on the field and the physical toll they take on our team’s players. It’s particularly noticeable with guys like Derek Wolfe, for whom one neck injury became career altering. But we don’t often spend much time thinking about the financial cost of players getting hurt.

A blog post on the website explored the cost of treating various common football injuries. They tend to range from a cool $1,500 or so to deal with a dislocated shoulder up to at nearly $20,000 to repair a torn meniscus. Rarer and more serious injuries likely cost even more.

Check out their infographic:

Of course, NFL players get paid very well. So the costs associated with medical treatment, surgeries, rehabs, and other related expenses don’t cause quite the crisis for NFL players that they would for your average American.

But there’s also a less obvious reason that medical bills aren’t a source of crisis for NFL players: insurance covers it. It probably comes as no surprise that guys playing in the NFL are heavily insured, and so the financial hit from their injuries falls on corporations rather than the individuals who got injured.

But NFL players are not the only people out there playing football.

NFL: International Series-Arizona Cardinals Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A $4,600 or so medical bill because of a concussion might be nothing to Joe Flacco after he gets a high velocity greeting from an opposing pass rusher. But it’s a whole different ball game for Joel Phlacco who bumped heads with cousin Vaughn in the family Turkey Bowl last week. The same goes for Dalwin Book after he tore an ACL on a juke playing intramural flag football, or young Anthony Braun who broke an arm when he got tackled in a peewee game this year.

With the median annual income in America being about $59,000/year right now, a $1,500 to $20,000 financial hit (if you’re uninsured) as a result of a bad decision or bad luck could easily be a life-changing financial crisis.

This is probably the place where discussion segues into consideration of whether parents should let their kids play football, and the future as a whole for one of the more violent mainstream sports out there. To me, it’s a personal choice for parents and players both. It’s a risk you’ve gotta weigh for yourself, or for your child. I’ll keep it as simple as that here, but feel free to discuss it in the comments section.

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