NFL injuries cause for concern


The Guardian Cap helmet was released in 2010. It is supposed to reduce concussions. The NFL started using it last year.

Helio Leza, Reporter

Football is a dangerous sport. The NFL said they improved equipment before the 2022 season started to prevent injuries. But that awful incident in which Buffalo Bills safety  Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after being tackled by Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, Jan. 2. New helmets to protect players from developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) were purported to prevent injuries but right now it doesn’t look like that.

Injuries are a big part of the NFL and artificial grass causes many of those. Some non contact injuries include lower body injuries when cleats get caught on the turf. Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol has spoken up about the issue saying ”I think we definitely need to look into this seriously this offseason. I mean, it’s been in discussion before. We’ve got to do what’s safest for the players, and we’ve got to make those choices,” 

The NFL hasn’t said anything about the turf but they have done something about the helmets. During the offseason the league introduced the Guardian Cap helmets. They have extra padding around the head and the league is hoping to lower incidences of concussion. 

There have been incidents where obvious injuries are plainly denied as in the case of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa who was tackled, and his head bounced off the turf. He got up, stumbled and had a hard time standing on his own. He had an obvious injury but the NFL stated there were no signs of one. Four days later he played against the Cincinnati Bengals. On Sept. 29 he got hit hard and was on the floor with his hands up in an odd position. He was carted off the field and taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with  — a concussion.

WhenBuffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin collapsed paramedics gave him emergency CPR on the field. An ambulance rushed him to the hospital. The NFL claims this is the first time something like this has happened but it isn’t.

 In 1971 Detroit’s Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes died on the field. After a few plays Hughes suffered a heart attack. But now most people don’t even know because the incident was downplayed and no one knows about it.

Standard procedure for the NFL is to announce a player’s injury and move on, as in Ryan Shazier’s career ending spinal injury in 2017. The NFL announced it, asked fans to send prayers and that was it. Since then Ryan has talked about big injuries like  Tua Tigalovoa and Damar Hamlin. 

The situation with Hamlin has changed how the league reacts to injuries. During week 18 before each game started prayers took place in the middle of the field and players who wore number 3 (Hamlin’s number) were the only players to handle the coin toss. But will this change the way the NFL reacts to injuries or will the NFL continue to announce injuries and move on.

The NFL needs to change their concussion protocols.  With the concussion protocol they have said they will not allow players back on the field for the remainder of the game. They can prevent another Tagovailoa incident during the season. The turf is dangerous and causes many lower leg injuries that cause players to be out for months. Teams should revert back to grass or look to invest in safer turf. 

The NFL has to change the way they react to injuries because even when it’s a serious injury they announce it but never give updates which are important for people who have career risking injuries. It’s time they change the way the NFL handles injuries.