Head injuries were just part of the daily work of football players. But research has shown that they cause serious neurological problems, giving rise to the NFL concussion protocol.
Link between concussions and CTE
Studies have found a link between repeated blows to the head and chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. This degenerative brain disease can cause depression, anxiety, memory loss, and dementia.
The brains of NFL players were among 1,000 that were part of a brain injury study, and around ttwo-thirds of the total sample had a CTE.
NFL creates concussion protocol
The National Football League has created policies to tackle head injuries, and the NFL concussion protocol is the first line of defense on match day.
The protocol aims to identify and treat concussions in the NFL more quickly.
During each game, it is awarded observers who watch the players in the field. If they see an impact to the head, they call it a time out. The player is escorted off the field to be reviewed and evaluated.
In addition to observers, other people can initiate the protocol, including the team coach, coach or doctor, NFL game officials, and the player’s teammate.
If signs of concussion are detected, the player will be taken to the medical tent, locker room or hospital for further examination.
5-step return to participation process
After being discarded, the player must go through a five-step process before being allowed to retake the pitch.
The first step is to rest and activity limitation which can increase or worsen the symptoms. The player can do stretching and balancing activities. If the patient does not develop signs of concussion, they may be allowed to proceed to the next phase.
Phase two concerns the start of a graduated aerobic exercise program. He must show that he can indulge in cardiovascular exercise without worsening his symptoms.
In phase three, the player will engage in drills that will begin to imitate specific football activities. He can also practice supervised weight training.
In the fourth phase, the patient can participate in non-contact training exercises. These include throwing, catching and running.
The fifth and final phase is to participate in full football training, with full contact. Once the player has fully trained, the next step is approved by the club doctor.
After that, it should be examined by the independent neurological consultant. If cleared, he will be allowed to play in the next match.
Chiefs players who shouldn’t be playing tonight are LB Willie Gay (recently on concussion protocol), WR Antonio Callaway (bruise), OL Kyle Long (knee, PUP roster), OL Mike Remmers (back), OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (hand).
– Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) August 14, 2021