Concussions in football have become a growing concern across all levels of football from youth, high school, college, and the pros. Many cases of these injuries have lead to CTE(Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma (often athletes), including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head that do not cause symptoms. and the death of many players. Many players have to retire, because of the numerous concussions they have suffered over the years.
Players like Junior Seau who committed suicide on May 2, 2012, later in a study by the scientists who analyzed Seau’s brain before he died concluded that he suffered from CTE from taking hits to the head for over two decades. NFL players suffered more concussions in 2017 alone than the five previous seasons. According to data released by the NFL there were 281 concussions reported in the 2017 season accounting for injuries suffered in preseason games and practice as well. (CCN Library) On February 17, 2011 former Chicago Bears Defensive Back Dave Duerson, 50, commits suicide with gunshot wound to the chest rather than his brain so his brain could be tested on for CTE. Boston University researchers found CTE in his brain like other diseased players (CNN Library).
People are dying from this. In an article a neuropathologist studied the brains of 111 NFL diseased players out of those 111 players 110 of them had CTE ( Ward et al.). NFL goes through class action lawsuit with ex-players with health concerns from these types of cases with deaths of former players. The ex-players wanted the NFL to pay $765 million to fund medical exams, concussion related compensation, medical research for retired players and their families, and litigation expenses, according to a document filed in US District Court in Philadelphia August 29, 2013(CNN Library). In another study including 2552 retired football players studies show that 61% sustained at least one concussion throughout their career and 24% have sustained two or more throughout their careers (Guskiewicz et al.).
The NFL as already put in set rules to help with player safety and helping to reduce these issues. The “new” rules were set in 2011 that would fine players for illegal hits to a defenseless player such as a Quarterback in the act of throwing, a receiver trying to catch a pass, a runner already in the grasp of tacklers with his forward progress stopped, a player fielding a kickoff or punt, a kicker or punter during the kick, a quarterback at any time after change of possession, a receiver who receives a blindside block, a player already on the ground. Also the NFL banned using the crown of the helmet to tackle or ward off defensive players. (Schottey) In a 2014 the NFL announced that the season before concussions were down 13% and concussions caused by helmet to helmet hits were reduced by 24%(Garriott). These rules have worked so far in lowering the rate of these injuries which is a good positive to not take too much from the game and protecting players. Banning head to head contact in the sport could be one solution for this problem with all the equipment that players have from padded pants, shoulder pads, and of course helmets but all this equipment can’t protect players from all spinal and concussion type injuries. Players will have to return to the old days of football fundamentals using their form and using their arms, hands, and legs and get away from using their heads in these situations. Another solution would be slowing down the game in the NFL today offenses are running no huddle to exhaust the defensive which is putting players at risk the players become lazy and forget their fundamentals in tackling and it results in players being put in a situation they could be injured the viewers love this style of play being more exciting for fans to watch but it puts the players at a huge risk of getting injured(Pontius).
Ponitus, Jerek https://minds.wisconsin.edu/bitstream/handle/1793/78884/Pontius,%20Jerek.pdf?sequence=1
Schottey ,Micheal https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1760584-a-guidebook-for-nfl-hits-whats-legal-whats-not-whats-just-plain-dirty
Joe Ward, Josh Williams, and Sam Manchester