Concussions and their effects have been an issue that has taken the NFL and to some extent the sports world by storm. The NFL has taken steps to try to limit the amount of brain injuries that the players endure, but being such a violent game, collisions are still inevitable.
In an article written by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Giants president and co-owner John Mara spoke about the continued presence and issue of concussions. Mara spoke with concern and seriousness about the issue saying, “We’ve been involved in this business in my family since 1925. You better believe it’s important to me to find out what’s going on and to improve this going forward. This is our business. We have a lot of young men playing this game that we want to try to protect. This is not for show. This is serious business.” (via Profootballtalk on NBC Sports).
The imminent future of the game may not be truly in jeopardy because of concussions, but at the same time severe changes could occur and the NFL understands that down the line the concussion issue could cause drastic changes to the game in order to protect its players. Some progress has been made, and more time and effort has been put into solving the issue in the last couple of years. Yet, additional headway progress is still needed. More and more retired players have developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which is a progressive degenerative disease that is a product of repeated head injuries. In addition to that, despite the increased efforts to help limit concussions, they rose in number from 206 to 271 from 2014 to 2015 (via Profootballtalk on NBC Sports).
In some aspects many of these concussions are hard to fully eliminate, but there have also been instances where players have re-entered the game where they seemed visibly concussed or at least need more of a break. There are now unaffiliated medical personnel on the sidelines of NFL teams to assess people are receiving hits to the head.
Mara talked about the future of the situation. “Yes, when that statistic came out it certainly caught my attention. But I want to understand the reasons for that. Are we just diagnosing [concussions] more? Is there more self-reporting? Or are we actually having more incidents? I don’t fully understand that yet. That’s something [the health and safety] committee will look at in Indianapolis in a couple of weeks.”(via Profootballtalk on NBC Sports)
Steps have been made in the right direction, but there is certainly more that is needed for the protection of the game and the players that play in it.