Recent Player Injury in NFL Causes More Concerns Over Player Safety

Aaron Propst and James Lew, Reporters

Over the years, the number of NFL players who have been suffering from head injuries has become an obvious problem.

Recently, Miami Dolphins star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was sacked and hit the ground hardin a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29. What followed was a very scary sight where Tagovailoa had lost consciousness and his fingers were extending and contorting. 

Tagovailoa’s incident came only three rest days following his Sunday afternoon game against the Buffalo Bills.

In the first half of that game, Tagovailoa got up after a hit and was noticeably struggling to walk.

Fans were concerned about Tagovailoa’s health and questioned the organization’s decision to keep him in for the remainder of the game.

This caused numerous worries around the world as this game was televised nationally on Thursday Night Football and Tagovailoa was slated to play. 

This isn’t an isolated incident, however. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)is very common among retired NFL athletes, as repeated hits to the head and multiple concussions increase the risk of permanent brain trauma. 

A Boston University study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July 2017, stated that out of the 225 brains studied, 99% of former NFL players have CTE and 21% of high school football players have CTE. 

This number is way too high.

CTE has many long-lasting effects on the unfortunate people that have the condition. 

Symptoms of CTE include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, difficulties in controlling impulse, aggression, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

The NFL, and all football associations, should take much more accountability in protecting their players. 

Having new and improved helmet designs that can fully protect the head, especially the back of the head, is necessary. 

Also, sports doctors and neurologists should be much more careful with concussions, not rushing the players back to the field to prevent worsening the injury. 

Team doctors need to stand up to the pressures of coaches and injured players who want to play and make choices that prioritize safety and health.