Player safety is paramount in professional sports, with governing bodies taking every precaution to prevent injury where possible. Despite this, accidents are inevitable, and football observes its fair share.
In such a physical sport, NFL players experience various slips, trips and bumps in their careers. Factors such as field surfaces, altitude and temperature all contribute to injury occurrence, with certain playing venues accruing a longer injury list than most.
To determine the most ‘cursed’ stadiums, Betting.com have compiled data from NFL databases detailing all reported injuries in the NFL across the last 14 years.
Analyzing over 72,000 injury reports, we were able to calculate the average number of injury reports per game for each stadium, as well as the most common injury types and the positions players are most likely to be injured playing in.
Stadiums with the most players injuries
|20 Most Cursed Stadiums|
|Stadium||Injury Reports per Game|
|Lucas Oil Stadium||21.76|
|Empower Field at Mile High||20.23|
|Hard Rock Stadium||20.22|
|TIAA Bank Field||19.99|
|State Farm Stadium||19.71|
Since 2009, 72,849 injury reports have been recorded across the NFL. Knee injuries are the most common occurrence, making up 17.41% of all reports.
Meanwhile, linebackers face the most physical punishment, accounting for 14.33% of all injury reports. Naturally, punters and kickers manage to evade injury, making up less than 2% of injuries as the least-injured positions.
Allegiant buys the most band-aids
The new home of the Las Vegas Raiders is the NFL’s most cursed stadium, with 23.92 injuries per game. Despite only becoming the franchise’s base in September 2021, the stadium has already garnered a reputation for hosting the highest injury rate per game.
Notably the only stadium in the top four with a grass surface, Allegiant has racked up an impressive 598 injury reports in just 25 games. Breaking from the norm, ankle injuries are most common, with 42 reports across the Raiders’ tenure.
The stadium’s curse claimed various victims during the 2022-23 season. In week 4, the Denver Broncos’ visit to Allegiant resulted in multiple injuries to key players. Defensive back PJ Locke was injured on the opening kick off, followed by a knee injury dealt to running back Javonte Williams who left Allegiant Stadium on crutches. Later on in the game, pass rusher Randy Gregory also suffered a knee injury, the Broncos falling victim to the venue’s voodoo.
Injuries at NRG
The home of the Houston Texans takes second place, averaging 22.87 injuries per game. Hosting an artificial surface, the stadium witnesses knee injuries as the most common, comprising 6.49% of total injury reports.
NRG Stadium has been the subject of criticism in previous years, with some blaming injuries on the condition of the field. In 2016, players publicly attributed Jadeveon Clowney’s non-contact injury to the field’s poor maintenance, complaining of ‘holes’ in the ground causing players to trip.
Casualties for the Colts
Taking bronze in the injury olympics, Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium bears host to the third-most injuries in the NFL. With 21.76 injuries per game, the venue’s curse has consistently produced injuries year-after-year.
In line with the league’s most-common injury, Lucas Oil Stadium mainly observes knee injuries, with ankle and hamstring injuries following behind. Even Hall of Famers aren’t exempt from bad luck; NFL legend Peyton Manning missed the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury aggravated during his time with the Colts, perhaps with the curse to blame.
Across the current venues of each NFL franchise, the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium witnesses the least injuries, with 17.08 injuries per game. Prior to the Los Angeles Rams’ relocation to the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum witnessed only 14.35 injuries per game, making it the least-cursed stadium in the NFL.
Turf wars – Natural vs Artificial
While players mostly favor stadiums with grass surfaces, the natural versus artificial turf debate could be settled on the grounds of safety. Seven of the ten stadiums with the lowest injury rates feature an artificial surface, perhaps suggesting that playing on grass poses a greater risk of injury.
|10 Least-Cursed Stadiums|
|Stadium||Injury Reports Per Game||Surface|
|Bank of America Stadium||17.57||Astro|
|TCF Bank Stadium||16.83||Astro|
|Edward Jones Dome||16.78||Astro|
|Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||14.35||Grass|