Kent Tukeli |  Thu 14/09/2017 - 09:02 EDT

NFL Concussion Report Threatens Future Of Football

NFL Concussion Report Threatens Future Of Football
The NFL released a report early in 2017, showing an 11.3% decrease in concussions the previous year. Six months later, the results of a comprehensive study of 202 football brains was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association – 87% tested positive for CTE, including 110 of 111 NFL players. A shocking rate of brain disease among ex-NFLers challenges the viability of the league. Even worse, reducing concussions won’t prevent players from developing this debilitating condition.

Football Linked To Permanent Brain Damage

The most bone-crunching hits in the NFL have long been blamed as the culprit which triggers long-term brain injury. As such, the league’s taken steps to reduce dangerous hits to defenseless players, part of a plan to reduce the number of concussions in the game.

Further protections have been installed to prevent players from making their head injuries worse. Protocols now include concussion spotters who directly contact teams when a player shows any signs of the injury. Players have become far more likely to self-report, making it easier for team physicians and coaches to take the appropriate action. There’s no doubt that NFL players benefit from greater concussion awareness, and lower rates of this injury type.

Unfortunately, the type of play that likely causes CTE also happens to be the most common. The vast majority of NFL plays begin with linemen crashing into each other, often knocking helmets in the process. Over the span of a football career, players absorb these lesser hits thousands of times regardless of position. This physical punishment starts at the high school level, sometimes younger.

A football player could avoid concussions throughout his career, and still develop CTE because of a lifetime of absorbing smaller collisions which form the basis of football – a sport defined by tackling and physically punishing your opponent. The concussion study showed that 21% of high school football players had CTE and 64% of semi-pro players exhibited the disease. Nine out of ten college football players had the disease, contradicting the concept of student-athletes in the NCAA. Instead of growing the mind, college football players destroy them on behalf of their school.

NFL Needs To Step Up

So far, the NFL has been less than impressive in promoting player safety. U.S. congress reports that the league attempted to undermine research after promising millions towards the effort. The NFL responded by leaving the project without paying $16 million of the pledge as promised.

A lawsuit involving more than 4,500 players has been winding down after years of bitter litigation, resulting in an award that approaches the billion-dollar mark. Other players have attempted to sue to NFL and individual teams because of misinformation they were given about head injuries.

On their part, more players have been choosing health over a long NFL career lately. Chris Boreland retired at the age of 24 after finishing among the lead leaders in tackles. John Urschel picked a career as an MIT math PhD instead of continuing with the Baltimore Ravens after three years – enough time to unlock his pension. The New York Giants watched rookie Jadar Johnson retire before the 2017 season, along with Owa Odighizuwa, who was entering his third year healthy.

These types of retirements were unheard of prior to revelations of CTE in football. As knowledge of this problem grows, more athletes will turn away from America’s favorite spectator sport.

Results / FixturesNFL

Solutions Remain Uncertain

NFL football’s a contact sport. Removing the element of physicality and danger changes the game fundamentally – it’s no longer football. From this perspective, it’s difficult to fix the problem of CTE by removing the threat of contact. At best, the effects of football can be mitigated. The CFL recently announced the end of contact practices while lengthening the schedule to reduce injury.

Medical science rushes to discover a concussion pill to reverse the effects of brain trauma. A medicinal cure to concussions remain a distant reality, but progress shows that lab mice respond to drug therapy designed to heal brain cells damaged through concussive force. If the NFL doesn’t address brain injury and player safety, the health of thousands of players will continue to suffer.

Category : News

Tag : new york giants , nfl

Join The Conversation
More articles...
Betting Picks - 21/10/17
Awakened Astros Bats Could Mean End Of Yankees Season 
It's Game 7 in the ALCS and the winner with the AL Pennant up for grabs. The New York Yankees will try to find their offense on the road against the Houston Astros, who have suddenly found theirs. CC Sabathia (1-0, 2.30 ERA) gets the start while Charlie Morton (0-1, 10.13 ERA) hopes give us a better start than his last outing. First pitch is at 8:08pm ET.
Read this article 
Betting Picks - 21/10/17
Raptors In For A Potential Shootout Against Sixers 
The Toronto Raptors host the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at 7:30 PM ET after opening the 2017-18 season with a big win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. The Raptors covered their lofty -12.0 spread thanks to the fantastic play from their bench. Against the 76ers, they will need to own the perimeter and match the 76ers' firepower from deep while Demar DeRozan needs to bounce back.
Read this article 
Betting Picks - 21/10/17
NHL Props Picks – October 21, 2017 
Saturday night hockey in the NHL features the latest edition of the battle of Ontario, as the Toronto Maple Leafs take the 401 to meet the Ottawa Senators in Canada’s capitol. This matchup looks to be one of the more entertaining, explosive games for prop bets this evening. On the west coast, the Calgary Flames want to extend their four-game winning streak against a Minnesota Wild team that’s started the season slowly due to injury problems.
Read this article 
Betting Picks - 21/10/17
Senators Look For First Home Win Against Maple Leafs 
Saturday night hockey in Canada begins in the nation’s capital with a 7:00 PM EST face-off between the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-1-0) and the Ottawa Senators (3-1-3) on October 21st. Toronto’s chasing the Tampa Bay Lightning for first overall in the western conference, only one point behind with one game in hand. The Senators still search for their first win at home after losing four in a row at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Read this article