Story by Glen McGuire
Before the 2017 football season started, the NFL tested helmets to see what helmet could protect the head of a player the most. The results showed that the VICIS Zero 01 (2017) offered the best protection. Now all of the helmets players use can make a hit on the head softer. In reference to our school’s gear, coach Brown said, “They are all updated gear.”
The NFL changed some of its rules, like the “leaper” rule, to prevent injuries because of the fact that more players are getting hurt and possibly getting brain damage. For example, they banned the “leaper” block on field goal attempts and on extra point attempts. The NFL also made a rule saying that a receiver running a route gets defenseless-player protection. It is now against the rules for a defensive player to wrap his arms around the quarterback’s knees or below. Since 2002 the NFL changed 47 rules so that fewer injuries occur. Eighth-grader Terrell Woods said, regarding how the NFL deals with people that break these rules, “Doesn’t seem like they are very much about treating people who cause injuries.” If the players break any of these rules, penalties like suspension will occur. Click for video of rule changes
The NFL added medical tents on the sideline of each field so that doctors can assess an injury as soon as it happens. During the summer, doctors trained to man the sideline tents. “Yes, they (the doctors) do a power practice ( )which helps eliminate concussions.” says coach Brown. The teams were sent a training video for the tents, the idea having been based on the tents colleges use for injuries. More than 70 medical tents are used across colleges, high schools, and professional football teams. Other sports including golf, basketball, soccer, and track and field also use medical tents. The tents take minutes to assemble. Click here for video on medical tents
The NFL has spent sixty million dollars for the improvement of player gear. Last October the Head, Neck, and Spine Engineering subcommittee put test dummies in football gear. Inside the gear are sensors that can tell the engineers if a concussion or other injury could occur. The dummies were hit by football like hits while being filmed using high-resolution motion cameras. They then recreated the hit in a laboratory. Using the results, they can make better, safer equipment. Before the gear is used in games, it first has to be designed by computers. Once the computer design is finished, they then test the gear on dummies. If the tests fail then the researchers have to go back to the drawing board. The researchers are trying to make a helmet type for each player because some players received different hits depending on their position.
Do you feel the NFL is doing enough to prevent injuries? Let us know what you think by commenting below.
Photo provided by Dylan Wilhite, 6C Photographer