Research Mentor Name

Mary Hennekes

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Henry Ford Health Systems/Orthopedic Surgery

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Introduction: There is likely a correlation between National Football League (NFL) players who endure lower extremity injuries (LEI) and the length and remuneration of subsequent contracts. This kind of data can be useful in training a model to predict how an injury may influence a player’s contracts in the future.

Methods: We examined the NFL’s weekly injury reports for seasons from 2016 to 2020, and recorded players with lower extremity injuries (LEI) (Hamstring, Calves, Groin, or Quadricep). We accessed and to record player identifiers and individual annual salaries 3 years prior to the index injury and up to 7 years after if data was available respectively. A google spreadsheet was used to record all information noted above.We will use machine learning to create a model of these variables.

Results: Our analysis likely indicates that LEI has a strong negative correlation with reduction in length of a player’s subsequent contract and reduction in annual salary. Our working hypothesis is that mean contract length will be reduced by six months and mean annual salary will be reduced by $50,000.

Discussion: This project will allow our team to further explore the implications of injuries on the careers of athletes and what other barriers these injuries create for players participating in these sports. This project can act as a stepping stone to help elucidate how a variety of lower extremity orthopedic injuries may impact professional athletes’ career measured by their earning potential.


Medicine and Health Sciences