Player safety has become a big issue in the NFL in the last couple years. Football purists have bemoaned the special rules afforded to quarterbacks but most are united in the league’s effort protect all players against head injuries, even if not everyone agrees with the methods the league is using.
The February issue of the National Geographic magazine features an interesting article on the “Lasting Impact” that even small hits to the head may have on the brain. Researchers have stepped up efforts to analyze the hits to the head that occur in a football game on the college level and plan to expand the research into the NFL.
The image below is included in the National Geographic article and has been provided to me to share with SideLion Report readers. Each line represents the location and magnitude of one of the 537 hits to the head of a 21-year old defensive end at the University of North Carolina suffered in practice and games during a season. Click the image for a larger view.
As the graphic shows, researches are studying three variables: location, magnitude and frequency. We see a lot of big hits on television that knock players out. What about the hits that may go unnoticed? The study also seeks to understand the relationship between brain injuries and repeated, less severe impacts.
Memorize the cover photo to the left and remember to pick up a copy of the magazine soon.