Concussions in the NFL

Preventing concussions

I play american football myself and I have had a concussion already so I wanted to know what is done against them. I really liked the results of this research so I wanted to share them with you. I hope you also like the results. I put them into some chapters starting with the helmets.

In the beginning of football the helmets were only meant to protect from skull fractures, but now they more and more protect from concussions. First of all they have air cushions instead of plastic and rubber ones so they have a better fit and the head stops slower when it is hit. The newest model of the Riddell helmets even has a slit in the front so the helmet can change its shape in order to protect from concussions. All in all the NFL has payed over 20 million dollars to improve the technology.

The ruled have also changed to prevent  concussions. For example the head-to-head hit is forbidden now and if one player still does it they get a penalty of 15 yards. It is also forbidden to hit a “defenseless” player above the shoulder.

Concussion Protocol
The concussion protocol is a series of tests that are done with a player if it is suspected that he has a concussion. First off the physician and the  neurotrauma consultant will review the clips of the play. Then they’ll perform a neurological test. If the player has a concussion he can’t return to the game at the same day anymore, but if he does not have a  concussion he will be watched throughout the game for symptoms of a concussion.

My own experiences
I’ve had one concussion because of football in all three years that I’have been playing  now. It happened in the training during a tackling drill. In this drill I got a head-to-head hit by one of my teammates. It was a pretty hard hit and directly afterwards I fell with my head directly to the ground. I don’t know which of the two had hit me harder and  caused the concussion but I was for certainly lucky that it was only a minor concussion.

If you want to read more about any of these topics just click the links in my sub-headings.


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