NFL Injury Analysis: Explaining Collarbone Injuries
NFL Injury Analysis: Explaining Collarbone Injuries

This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.

The clavicle (collarbone) is a simple bone, but several players illustrated its importance in Week 1. The collarbone sits between the sternum (breastbone) and the scapula (shoulder blade). Here it serves as a strut between the chest and the shoulder, allowing the arm to be raised overhead. However, its positioning leaves the collarbone vulnerable to injury, making it the most commonly fractured bone in the body.

Jacksonville quarterback Nick Foles learned this firsthand Sunday when he broke his left collarbone in the team's loss to Kansas City. The injury occurred in the first quarter after Foles was driven into the ground by the Chiefs' Chris Jones. The body weight of the lineman compounded the fall, sending a high amount of force through Foles' left arm. The hit applied an axial load through the fragile bone, the perfect mechanism for a clavicle fracture. and the exact situation the NFL attempted to avoid when it implemented new rules in 2018. The rule adjustment forbid defensive players to "[use] all or part of his body weight to land on a quarterback immediately after the ball is thrown." The rule change came on the heels of Pro Bowl quarterbacks Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers sustaining collarbone fractures in a similar fashion.

Oddly enough, Foles has broken this collarbone before. Back in 2014, Foles suffered the same injury on a near identical play with Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus applying the hit. Foles avoided surgery back then, but wasn't as lucky this time around. He

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Stotts
Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
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